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\:.?>oS 






OOPTBIQHT, 1020, 

bt dodd, mead and OOMPANY, Ivo. 



PEEFACE 



i 



The following book, "Yonr Psychic Powers: and How 
to Develop Them," was originally written for circulation 
semi-privately among the members of a number of 
psychical and spiritualistic Societies in New York and 
vicinity, and is, for that reason, decidedly positive and 
spiritistic in tone. It states facts dogmatically, and 
does not attempt to defend the statements made by any 
show of argument. The reader is asked to bear in mind, 
throughout, the following: (1) That the present work 
does not necessarily represent my own views in all 
respects, but rather the teachings which are generally 
accepted regarding the facta. That is to say. I have 
merely endeavoured to state the traditional and accepted 
theories, without in all cases endorsing these views my- 
self. (2) For this reason, those who might be apt to 
criticise certain views advanced in this book, and 
brand them as rankjy "credulous," "quacky" or 
"spiritnalistie," are hereby warned that they are de- 
prived of that weapon, for the .simple reason that, as 
before said, the teachings put forward do not in every 
case represent my own views, but the traditional and 
accepted ones, which are more or less prevalent in psy- 
chical and spiritualistic circles; and I have been careful, 
in nearly all such cases, to state that "it is taught," 
or "we are told," or words to that effect. I have 
summarized these teachings; and the reader must use 
his own judgment in selecting those which appeal to 



»SYCHIC 
PWERS 

DEVELOP THEM 



I CARRINGTON, Pb.D. 

il'PheDoiDena and the Wtr," ■■Tbe 
no ofSpirituallUD," "Modem 
d FhcnomcDB," etc 




NEW YORK 
MEAD AND COMPANY 







i.< 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

AND HOW TO DEVELOP THEM 



CHAPTER XIV „ 

Cl-AIltVOYANCE ! 

Subjective Clairvoyance — Objective Clairvoyance — X-Ray 
Clair voy iince — Cataleptic C lairvoy ance — Tr ance -Control 
Clairvoyance^ — -Telepathic Clairvoyance— Dream Clair- 
voyance — Clairvoyant DiagnoEia — The Explanation of 
Clairvoyance — Tubes, Thought-Fonna and Direct Per- 
ception — Why and How We "See" in Clairvoyance — 
Developing Exercisea— 'TolarizatJon" and How to Uae 
It — Factora in the Development of Clairvoyance— How 
to Diutinguish True from False — The Myatery Solved. 

CHAPTER XV 



What Is Sleep T — The Seven Common Dreams — Cauaea 
of Dreams — The Interpretation of Dreams — How to An- 
alyze Dreams — The Symboliam of Dreams — Seeingand 
Hearing in Dreams — Perai stent Dream- Images — ^hat 
Is Somnambulism ! — Supernormnl Drcame — Experi- 
mentally Induced Dreams — Remembering Dreams. 

CHAPTER XVI 

Adtouatio WREriNO 141 

How to Obtain Automatic Writing — Two Important 
Rules to Follow — How Automatic Writing Is Accom- 
plished^The Character of the Messages Received — Phe- 
nomena Whirh May Occur During the Writing — More 
Phenomena — How to Develop the Power. 

CHAPTER XVII 

Crtstal Gazing and Shell-Hearing 14S 

How to Begin — Explanation of Crystal -Gazing — Super- 
normal Crystal Visions — How to Develop the Power — 
Clouding and Visualization — Shell-Hearing — Important 
Warnings and Advice. 

CHAPTER XVIII 

Spiritual Healiko 156 



What is Spiritual Healing!— How Cures Are Effected— 
The Cosmic, Vital Energy — "Healing Miracles" — Poa- 
sible Explanation of Such Cures — How to Draw Upon 
the Cosmic Energy — Progressive Exercises — The Funo- 




CHAPTER XIX 

The Coi/m'4TioN or Sensitiveness 164 

How to DiBtinguish True from False — ^The First Step— 
The "PByehic Atmosphere" — Progressive ExereiarB in 
Self-Devdopment — More Teats (or SenaitiveHcas — Col- 
ours uid Emotions — The Expression of Impressions 
Recdved. 

CHAPTER SX 
Trance 172 

Whnt Is Trance? — Light and Deep Trance — Spirit Con- 
trol Durinft Trance— The DilTerence Between Somnam- 
bulism and Trance — Various Methods of Conveyini; In- 
lormation During Trance — DilTerent Types of Control 
— The Best Way to Enter Trance — How to Experiment 
with the Trance — How to Enter Trance by Vourself — 
Symptoma of Early Trance Mediumahip— The Three 
Rules to Follow — Important CouditJouB to be Fulfilled — 
DerelopiDg Exercises. 

CHAPTER XSI 
Inspirational Speaking akb Test-Messaoes .... 184 
On the Rostrum^How to Begin — Coloura and Auras — 
Their Interpretation — How to Increase Your Power — 
Getting Help from Your Spirit Guides — Important Rules 
to Follow — How to Receive Impressions. 

CHAPTER XXII 

UoRz AND Less De\'eloped Spirits 191 

Why StrnngerH Often Communicate— The Conditions for 
Communication— Why Low or "Evil" Spirits Often 
Communicate — High Spirits and their Helpful Meaaages 
—Guardian Spirits — Who Make the Best Communi- 
cator a !— Haunted Houses and "Pacta" — Possibly Un- 
conscious Messages. 

CHAPTER XXin 
Obsession and Insanitt 198 



— Poieooed Magnptism — ObseBBion veriet Mediumship — 
How Spirits Influence Ub— The Magnetic Link— Early 
Symptoms of Obaesaion — Danger Signals — Prevention of 
ObscBBion — Important WnrningB and Precautions — Fur- 
ther Advice — TTie Cure of Obsession — How to Use the 
Mind — DiaguoBlB and Treatment — Spiritual Treatmcot 
—The Brighter Side of the Subject. 

CHAPTER XXIV 

Prater, Concentration and Silence 215 

What "The Silence" really SignifieB— The Value ot Con- 
centration^ — Concentration Exercises — The Dynamic 
Power of the Mind — The Value of Prayer — Prayer in 
Obaeeaion — How Prayer Cures. 

CHAPTER XXV 

The Human "FLtnD" 222 

Nature and Properties of the Fluid — BxperimentB to 
Prove the Exietence of the Fluid — How to Magnetize 
Water — Life Preserved by the Human Fluid — Proofs 
of the Human Fluid — How Material Objects Become 
Charged by the Fluid — Eiterioriiation of SenBibility — 
"Repercussion" — How the Euman Fluid May ImpreM 
Photographic Plates. 



CHAPTEE XSVI 
Self-Projectioh 



Of What the Thought-Body Is Composed— Inner. Finer 
Bodies — Possible Dangers, and How they are Overcome 

— Thoueht-Forms ; How They are Built L'p— How the 
Selves May Be Projected — Practical Instructions for 
Self- Project ion — Further Directions and Advice. 



CHAPTER XXVH 
Apparitions 



What Ib a "GhoBt"!^ Apparitions Coinciding with 
Death— Phantasms of the Dead — Ghosts that Touch! — 
Materialized Phantoms — Phantasms Created by Thought 
— Phantoms Which Impart Information — Experimental 
Apparitions — How to Create Thought -Forms, 



CHAPTER XXVIII ,am 

Hacuted Houses 243 

Thi' Explanation of H&uiit«d HoUHea — Telepathy And 

"Psychic Atmosphere" — AHtral Bodies and Thought' 
forms — The Nature of the Figures Seen — Proofs of 
Reality — Stances in Haunted Houaea — Clairvoyant Diag- 
HniiHPH — Hnw in *'Ciir*» Ha.unted 



EouseB. 



I of Haunted Houses — How to "Cure Haunted 



CHAPTER XXIS 



ThK DlFFtCUUriEB OF COHUUmCATION i 

Factors Affecting Communication — Difficulties of the 
Communicating Spirit — Why Many Messagea ore Trivial 
— Influence of the Medium's Organism — Symboliun 
Necessary — Difficulties of Nameo and Dates — Communi- 
cations Immediately After Death— Other Difficulties, 

CHAPTER XSX 

HtPNOTISM AlTD Mesiceribu S 

The Difference Between Hypnotism and Mesmeriani — 
Passes and Suggestion — Remarkable Hypnotic Phe- 
nomena — The Power of Hypnotic Suggestion — The Fear 
of Being Hypnotised — Hypnotic Influence from Other 
Minds — ^ow to Overcome Such Influences — An Impor- 
twit Warning— The Prevention of Hypnotic Inlluence. 

CHAPTER XXXI 

Personal Maoneti8M J 

"The Inexhaustible Supply"— The Physical Factor— The 
MenUI Factor— The SplrituHl Factor — How to Influence 
Others— The I'se of the Eyes— How to Develop the Mag- 
netic Gaie — Passes and SuRgestiong — How to Prevent 
the Influence of Others — Helpful Application. 

CHAPTER XXXII 

Pbophect vs. PoRTUire Telling 1 

Mediums and the Law — What Prophecy Is — A Deflni- 
tion of Prophecy — Explanation of Fortune Telling — Why 
Fortune Telling Is Sometimes True — Why Mediums Can- 
not Help TTiemselves — History of Prophecy^How Is 
Prophecy Possible? — Scientific Explanation of Prophecy. 



CHAPTER XXXIII ,^0* 

Reutcarnation asd Eastehn Philosopht 284 

The Memory of Past Live«— The Arguments for Rein- 
cftrnalion — IteaBuaa for Doubting Reineamation — -Life, 
Past and Future— The Sjiiral or Vortei of Life— How 
Wa "Remembi'r" Past Lives — Where and How Theie 
"MemoricB" Originate. 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

The Ethics op Spirituausm 292 

la it Right to Investigate Pujchic PhenomenaT — Con- 
cerning traud nnci Error — Ib it Healthy and Normal! — 
Does Spirit Communication Retard ProgreBaionT — 
Should the "Dead" Know Our Sorrows!- The Ethical 
Teachings of Spiritualism — Should Mediums Accept 
Money ^ 

CHAPTER XXXV 

What Happens Apteb Death T 299 

The Mystery of Death— Why We Should Not Fear 
Death — A Clairvoyant Deacription of Death — Formation 
of the Spiritual Body — How It Feels to "Pass Over" — 
Novel Experiences on the "Other Side" — How We Turn 
Back to Communicate — How We Progress in the Spirit 
World. 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

Bad and PEmxETED Uses op Spiritualism 306 

How Invocations Are Performed — An Esplanation of 
Witchcraft— Devil Worship— The "Evil Eye"- Vam- 

g'res, and How They Attack — Modem Vampirege — 
ow to Protect Yourself from Occult and Evil InHa- 



CHAPTER XXXVTI 
Shares akd Pitfalls to Avoid . . , 

The Over-Negative Condition— Abuse of the 



'Sixth 
Sense" — On Changing Mediums and Circles — Sensi- 
tivity and Mediumship — Things a Psychic Should Avoid 
— How to Distinguish the True from the False — How 
to Guard Against Outside Influences — The Value of 
Psychic Development to the Individual. 



L 




CHAPTER XXXVin 



Physical Phenoueha i 

PheDomeaa Willi Physical Contact — Table-Tipping and 
LevitatioDii — How the Power Increases — -Uow Physical 
FbeDomena Are Produced- — Externalized Vital Encrg; 
— CoDtrotliog the Pheuomean — The Effect of Light — 



-Duv 



I the 



Dark^ — How to Develop in the Light — iDstruinentB for 
Testing Your Power — How to Begin— How to Obtain the 
First Phenumena — How to Construct the Vital Threads 
or "Rigid Rays" — Traimferring the Power — Gathering 
Vital Energy (rom the Circle. 

CHAPTER XXXIX 

Spirit aud THOCGHT-PnoroGRAPHY 334 

How 

Your Oevelopment — 

"Itadio(;raphH," and How to Obtain Them — How to Ob- 

t»in Thought- Photographs — Another Way to Produce 

Thought- Photographs — Photographs of Psychic Forms 

and Emotions. 

CHAPTER XL 

Materialization I 

The Marvels of MateriBli7.ation — The Necesury Fac- 
tors to Insure Success — Ether ializatioD and TraDsflg- 
uration — How Some Kormn Are Created — How Maten- 
alization Is Accompli a lied— "Repercussion"- — How the 
Figures Are Formed^ — The Clothes of Materialized Fig- 
ures — How to Begin Your Development — Early fiigna 
and Phenomena — The Sensation of "Cobwebs" and What 
II Means — Why Some Forms Resemble the Medium. 

CHAPTER XLI 

Advanced Stodies 3 

Cultivating the "Sixth Sense" — Psychic Breathing Ei- 
erciaea — How to Awaken the "Chakraa" or 7 Vital Cen^ 
tres — The Importance of Awakening in the Right Or- 
der—The Sacred Word "CM" and Meditation— Internal 
or Spiritual Respiration — Seeing with Any Part of the 
Body — The Development of Cosmic Consciousness — 
Power Over Animate and Inanimate Matt«r — Creation 
by the Power of Will. 



1 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

AND HOW TO DEVELOP THEM 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW TO DEVELOP 

BvEBT student of "psychics" — every one who has ex- 
perienced "phenomena" of one kind or another, or who 
is more or leas "mediumistic," — desires to know how to 
develop his own powers and faculties so that the phenom- 
ena which come through him may be increased in power, 
in clearness and in excellence. It is quite possible to in- 
sure this — since we are all more or less mediumistic or 
psychic, and need only to cultivate our powers in order to 
develop them, and bring them to maturity. Develop- 
ment will differ, aceording to the charaeter of the 
phenomena that we desire. Those who desire physical 
phenomena must develop in one way; those who desire 
to obtain automatic writing must develop in another; 
those who wish to become clairvoyant must develop in 
still another, and so on. 

SPONTANEOUS PHENOMENA 

To begin : — let me give a few general hints to those 
who have experienced spontaneitus phenomena in their 
waking state, or who have experienced remarkable 
dreams, which they feel signify something — but just 
uhat, they do not understand. These spontaneous 
phenomena are often the simplest types of mediumship, 



L. 



2 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

though as a matter of fact they are also an indication of 
psychic power, having but little to do with true medium- 
iatic messages, — that is, they are the result of remarkable 
powers within ourselves. All who obtain phenomena of 
this nature should make it a point, tirst of all, to maintain 
the physical health at the highest possible standard, so 
that the energies are not drained, and the body remains 
healthy and the mind elear in its judgment. It is es- 
sential to reduce the amount of any stimulants which may 
be taken to tbe lowest possible quantity, or, if possible, 
omit them altogether. This applies not only to alcohol 
in all its forms, but also to tea and coffee. These stim- 
ulants excite the nerves and the imagination, and often 
induce "manifestations" which are not true psychio 
phenomena at all, but merely the results of a disordered 
nervous system. The subject should not eat too much 
meat. On the other hand, fruits of all kinds, particu- 
larly acid fruits, — such as the pear, peach, plum, orange 
and lemon, — are especially suitable, since the juices of 
these fruits act upon the liver and tend to cleanse the 
blood. Of course, these precautions are only for those 
who are serious in their study, and who are determined 
to obtain the best possible phenomena. 

The mind should be exercised in all healthy channels. 
Do not "introspect" or reflect too much on your own 
inner, mental conditions. You must learn to live outside 
your head, so to speak, — in the outer world. Do not 
constantly wonder what is going on within your own 
brain. If you do, you will surely lead yourself into 
difficulties later on. In short, you should lead a healthy, 
active life, and, between those times when you experience 
phenomena, you should think about them, as applied to 
yourself, as little as possible. 



1 




HOW TO DEVELOP 



CONDITIONS POK DEVELOPMENT 

If yoa desire to obtain certain manifestations, it is not 
advisable to sit for them or try and obtain them for 
longer than twenty (20) minutes to half an hour each 
day. At first five or ten minutes would suffice, and this 
time can gradually be lengthened as you progreas. This 
is egpecially important; and the neglect of this rule is 
one of the great reasons for the dangers which mediu.iis 
experience later on in their development. Suppose, for 
example, that some one appeared to you and gave you 
certain advice as to your course of action. It would 
certainly be unwise for you to follow this advice in every 
ease, without inquiring whether or not it would be just 
and sensible, and without using your own judgment 
when the advice was given. Even supposing that the 
person who appeared to you were really the spirit it 
claimed to he, there is always the possibility that this 
spirit may be mistaken, and the further possibility that 
some malicious and lying spirit was coming to you, 
pretending to give advice, while in reality it was only 
leading you astray. There is this further possibility 
that the figure you saw was not really a spirit at all, 
but merely the product of your own subconscious imagi- 
nation. Often this is the case, and yet the figure has 
given true and sound advice I All that we are stating 
now is that the judgment of the individual who re- 
ceives such messages, or advice, must always be exercised 
upon the message received. If you do not cultivate this 
habit, you will find that messages often become more 
and more insistent, when they arc not followed, and 
^M will sometimes give untme or lying information. They 
^m Buty even urge you to do certain things which are against 



I 
I 



a 



4 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

your own welfare. All this can only be settled by the 
exercise of right judgment, and by asking the advitre of 
those who know how much to believe in these messages. 
It is for this reason that the counsel and help of one 
who has had long training and experience in this subject 
is most desirable, during these early stages of medium- 
ship. 

THE PROPEE FORMATION OP THE CIECLE 

The proper formation of the circle is of the utmost 
importance, and upon it depends the excellence of the 
phenomena, and whether or not helpful personalities are 
drawn into your "aura" and environment. The best 
results may be obtained by closely obeying the following 
rules : — 

From six to ten persons usually constitute a circle. 
They should range on an average from twenty to fifty 
years of age. Of these, half should be gentlemen and 
half ladies. They should sit alternately round a table, 
or round the room,— in case one of the party enters 
the cabinet. It is desirable to join hands, in order to 
form a "battery," so-called, and the feet should be 
kept flat on the floor. The circle should not last more 
than two hours, and not less than half an hour. An 
invocation or short earnest prayer should begin the pro- 
ceedings, followed by slow and quiet music, which may 
or may not be accompanied by singing, according to the 
expressed wish of the "controls" or the experience of 
those forming the circle. The light should be subdued, 
but absolute darkness should not be permitted, — unless 
strict instructions are given to that effect. Avoid dark 
stances, if possible, at all times! 



1 



HOW TO DEVELOP 




THE VALUE OF FLOWERS 

It is advisable to have flowers in the seance room, 
whenever possible, as their presence is said to attract 
spirits in a peculiar manner. The "spirits" say that 
they see these flowers as "lights." Plenty of fresh air 
should be allowed to enter the seance room. If any 
member of the circle be ill, he or she should not be per- 
mitted to sit in the circle until well again. 

A developing circle should meet in the same room, 
since this room tends to become ' ' mediumized, ' ' or soaked 
with magnetic influences, given off by the sitters. The 
chairs on which the members of the circle sit should be 
wood or cane-bottomed ; the use of upholstered chairs is 
generally inadvisable. The table round which the mem- 
bers of the circle sit should be free from metal. The 
chair on which the medium sits must be cane or wood, 
and, as already said, free from all cushions or upholstery. 



ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS 

Atmospheric changes play a great and important part 
in all mediumistie conditions. The dryer the atmos- 
phere, the better the phenomena, as a rule. On damp, 
rainy days, little can be obtained. During a thunder 
storm, startling phenomena occasionally take place. 
High, rarefied air is better than that o£ lower levels, and 
for that reason a house on the side or even the top of a 
high mountain should be selected, if possible, in which 
to hold stances. Failing this, select a house which has as 
high an altitude as possible. 

One member of the circle must, by universal consent, 
undertake to conduct the proceedings ; to converse with 
the "spirits" when they appear; to arrange the sitters 



6 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

in their proper places, to adjust the amount of light re- 
quired, etc. His word must be followed at once, and 
without question; otherwise the necessary "harmony" 
will be destroyed, and the circle will fail to obtain as 
good results. 

Excitement in all its forms should be avoided. If 
one of the circle develop mediumistic power, he should 
be placed next to a more fully developed medium, — 
unless instructions are received not to do so. In this 
way the power is concentrated and foeusaed at one 
point. 

MISUSE OF RPIRIT ADVICE 

Never attempt to use psychic-power for worldly pur- 
poses! If you do, you will invite mischievous and lying 
intelligences to your circle, and the medium will pos- 
sibly lose what mediumship he already possesses. 

Do not flit too frequently. Every other night, at most, 
should sittings be held, or even twice a week. See that 
the room is not too cool and is not unduly heated. As 
soon as the first manifestations have been received, en- 
courage the "spirits" by talking to them in a natural 
tone or voice, as you would if they were visibly present 
in the room. Speak to them a.s you would if they had 
returned to earth in bodily form. Be natural, in fact! 
You will get the best results in thi.s way. 

Many of those who are interested in spiritualism are 
so situated that they cannot join circles, but wish to de- 
velop alone. This is as a rule unwise, unless some one 
is present who understands the phenomena which are 
likely to develop and who can help and can give good 
advice when required. You may do so if the following 
instructions are kept carefully in mind. If you can pro- 



1 




HOW TO DEVELOP 7 

vide yourself with a "cabinet," it would be very ad- 
visable to do 80. Sit inside the cabinet on a comfortable 
chair and relax yourself thoroughly. Note whatever im- 
pressions eome to you. Pay particular attention to your 
bodily feelings, no less than to your mental states. Do 
not exaggerate here, or let your imagination have too 
free play. If your legs should happen to tingle or the 
chair to creak, do not put these down to spiritual in- 
flaence. They may be due to perfectly normal causes. 

SYMPTOMS OP ONCOMING MEDTOMgHIP 

For the first few evenings you will probably notice 
nothing much of interest, though very psychic persona 
begin to develop almost at once. A peculiar lightness 
and buzzing is sometimes experienced in the head, to- 
gether with a sense of numbness in the hands and arms, 
and sometimes in the feet and legs. The respiration 
seems to become slower, and so does the heart. Tiny 
lights and spots and light, or dark spots, appear in the 
air at a distance of one or two feet in front of the sub- 
ject. A peculiar pressure is sometimes experienced on 
the top of the head or on the base of the brain, or in the 
solar plexus; "swishing" sounds, as of the sea breaking 
upon the sea-shore, may be heard and a sensation that 
something inside of the head is going round and round 
in spirals. The head, the hands and sometimes the whole 
body break out into a profuse perspiration at this point. 

These are the first sensations of oncoming mediumship. 
Very often they are not pleasant for the first few weeks, 
but if this period be passed, the unpleasant sensations 
will as a rule vanish, and the subject will then develop 
trne mediumship of one character or another. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



GETTING THE BEST EKSULTS 

Just here it is advisable to state that the would-bft 
medium should not at first sit for the express purpose o£ 
cultivating any particular phase of mediumship. He 
may desire to obtain materialization, but unless he is 
naturally endowed in this matter, he might sit for ever 
and obtain nothiag; whereas if he developed whatever 
phenomena presented themselves, he might very soon 
develop into a striking medium in some other line. 

To return, however, to the early development of 
mediumship: Soon after these early impressions have 
been noticed, the subject may note for the first time that 
his mind is peculiarly susceptible to influences of alt 
kinds. He feels as if his mind has been "skinned," so to 
speak, and that he is now exposed to the psychic breezes 
from every direction ! He may become erratic and irrit- 
able and develop "moods" which he himself cannot 
understand. Peculiar buzzinga in the head are some- 
times heard, sometimes cloudlike masses seem to form in 
space before him, twisting and turning and moving up 
and down, and round about with a very irregular motion. 
As a rule, these clouds appear to be of the consistency of 
vapour, though they may in time become more and more 
solid, until they become built up into definite forms. Of 
this however later. 

EARLT SIONS AND EXPERIENCES 

At this phase of the development the subject may feel 
cool breezes blowing upon his hands and face from 
various directions — breezes whieh appear to be perfectly 
physical in character. He may also experience a peculiar 
sticky sensation on his hands and face as though cobwebs 




HOW TO DEVELOP 9 

were applied over the bare skin which is exposed. This 
cobwebby sensation is very commoii, and is not limited, as 
many think, to mediums who obtain materialization. 



COLOURS AND VOICES 

In the early stage of the development, mediums very 
often see colours of various shades and hues in space 
before them. They are unable to tell whether or not 
these colours have any definite shape or outline; they 
seem to possess an odd, irregular shape of their own; 
something like a large blot of ink. At this stage also 
many psychics see faces of friends and relatives, either 
living or dead, just as they are falling asleep or as they 
are awakening in the morning — more usually the former. 
They also see many strange faces. These may be mere 
vagae images or clearly outlined. Instead of the faces 
they may hear voices, speaking — and the first thing 
which these voices generally say is the name of the sub- 
ject himself. After this the voices may become more 
and more clear and intense, but such phenomena should 
be permitted only at stated times, because if they are 
allowed to develop whenever they may be experienced, 
trouble may result. Many odd and grotesque figures 
and shapes may present themselves to the mind's eye at 
this stage of development. These shapes may be highly 
coloured or may be almost colourless, seeming to be made 
of the air itself, yet soaiehow separated from this in out- 
line. Many of these images are symbolic, though as a 
rule a few of them are recognizable. More often tbey 
represent curious patterns and figures, such as roses, 
circles, outlines of patterns such as may be seen on the 
wallpaper and occasionally weird and horrible images 
flaab into the mind, to be gone again the next in.stant. 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



U>fPLEASANT EXPERIENCES 



If these manifestations develop an unpleasant eharae- 
ter at this time they should be checked instantly. The 
subject may do this in several ways. First of all he 
should build up hia physical health. Second, he should 
see to it that he obtains plenty of sleep. Third, he 
should exercise his brain as little as possible on anything 
of this unpleasant character. Fourth, he should keep 
busily occupied in material, practical things and leave 
himself no time to ponder and dwell upon these unpleas- 
ant occurrences. Fifth, he should avoid by all means 
day-dreaming and never allow the mind to become passive 
or absent-minded. He should cultivate his objective at- 
tention and interest, in short., and focus his whole person- 
ality, as it were, between his eyes, so as to have it under 
thorough control. If he does this, and refuses to sit for 
development for a short time, he will find that these 
early unpleasant sj-mptoms (should they develop) will 
soon wear oiiEi and this advice holds good at any stage 
of the development of mediumsbip. 

EXAGGERATION AND IMAGINATION 

Many of those who develop psychic phnenomena are 
inclined to exaggerate the importance of the manifesta- 
tions they receive during the early stages of their 
mediumship. Everything seems so new and strange to 
them, so remarkable, .so unaccountable, so beyond the 
experience of the average person, that they feci bound to 
tell it to every one they meet and usually it loses nothing 
in the telling! They fail to realize that every medium 
who has been developed has gone througli these same 



he ■ 



now TO DEVELOP 



11 



early stages, but has progressed beyond them years 
before! In observing these pheaomena in yourself you 
must be very earefiil to distinguish between the facts 
which really occur, and the phantasies of your own ex- 
cited imagination, which is inclined to extend and 
amplify these facts beyond all recognition. Thus, sup- 
pose a blurred outline of a face presents itself to you; 
the next day you meet your cousin on the street. You 
instantly come to the conclusion that the face you saw 
was that of your cousin, — while, as a matter of fact, 
it might not have borne the least resemblance to him. 
This is a very simple case, but will serve to explain 
the point in question. 



WHY AND HOW YODH POWER MAY BE LOST 

If you obtain such phenomena, you mnst be very 
careful not to exaggerate them, for if you do you will 
quite possibly lose the real sensitiveness that you are 
beginning to acquire, and this will be replaced by the 
products of an overexcited imagination. 

This is a truth, well known, as you may see by the 
following quotation from a work which appeared in 1813, 
entitled "Animal Magnetism" by Deleuze, for in it he 
aai-s; "Do not press the somnambulist too much, for 
if yon do you will gain nothing; you will even lose the 
advantages which you might derive from his lucidity. 
It is possible that you could make him speak upon all 
the subjects of your personal curiosity, but in that case 
you will make him leave his own sphere and introduce 
him in yours, he will no longer have any other resources 
than yourself, he will utter to you very eloquent dis- 
courses, but they will no more be dictated by the external 
inspirations, they will be the product of his recollec- 



12 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



tions or of his imagination. Perhaps you will also rouse 
Lis vanity and then all is lost, he will not re-enter the 
circle from which he has wandered. The two states 
cannot be confounded." 

The student, who cultivates raedjumship should, there- 
fore, be careful to preserve a clear head and a modest 
estimate of his own phenomena. If he does, he will 
doubtleas progress rapidly and favorably. 



1 




CHAPTER II 
"HARMONIOUS CONDITIONS" 



Ip we exert ourselves in any way whatever, we desire 
certain "conditions," in order to bring our powers and 
faculties into play to the best advantage. If we are 
undertaking to perform any feat of physical strength, of 
intellectual or spiritual achievement, we desire to be 
free from care and worry, distraction and irritation — 
to be enabled to centre and focus the whole of our 
energy in the channel desired. It is the same with 
tcediumship. 




CONDITIONS FOR THE EXERCISE OF PSYCHIC POWERS 

Professor Flourney, of Geneva, writes in this connec- 
tion: "As to the influence of various physical and 
mental conditions upon the exercise of mediumship, my 
correspondents are unanimous in condemning as abso- 
lote hindrances or at least grave obstacles to the produc- 
tion of phenomena, all such causes as physical exhaus- 
tion, disturbing emotions, uneasiness, absorbing thoughts, 
fatigue, enervation, etc. The conditions required for 
the successful exercise of mediumistic powers are the 
same as for the voluntary exercise of any other power, 
— a state of good health, nervous equilibrium, calm, the 
absence of care, good humour, sympathetic surround- 
ings, etc. Many insist upon moral elevation, purity of 
conduct, noble aspirations, altruism, etc., — saying that 
these things strengthen mediumship, while the lower 
sentiments such as cupidity, pride, jealousy, etc. are the 
13 




14 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

cause of much loss of power. Others have insisted that 
certain physical conditions have a propitious effect, 
— silence, semi-obscurity, good ventilation, fasting, etc." 

NECESSITY FOB CONDITIONS 

Those who do not understand the laws of Spiritualism 
have contended that the "conditions" demanded by 
mediums are often absurd, for the reason that they per- 
mit trickery. If the conditions permit the practice of 
fraud, they should not be allowed. Beyond this, any 
conditions required by the medium should be granted, 
for the medium alone is the one to know what these con- 
ditions should be. Mediumship, doubtless, has its "con- 
ditions" — its own psychic laws — just as any other ex- 
ercise of the inner powers. Many sceptics do not see 
this. They say : "If you can produce these phenomena, 
you must be able to produce them at any time, just as 
we can always produce the same effects in a chemical 
or physical laboratory! "Why ail this fuss about con- 
ditions, etc.t" But they fail to take into consideration 
human nature, and the fact that psychic laws and 
physical laws are different. We can easily prove this. 

"conditions" in art 

Take any musical composer or any artist who paints, 
and seat him at a table with instructions to compose 
a sonata or paint a wonderful picture, within half-an- 
hour! Suppose that during all the time the work is in 
progress, noise and flurry is constantly going on in the 
same room, the desk at which the artist works is being 
shaken, children are continually running in and out 
of the room, etc. Do you think that, under such eon- 



1 



'■HAEMONIOnS CONDITIONS' 



1 



ditions, a masterpiece in either music or art could be 
produced! Could a poet compose a sonnet under such 
conditions T Certainly he could not! The exercise of 
roediumistie power is assuredly as delicate, as subtle, 
as refined, as easily disturbed as any of these produc- 
tions of the genius of man. How absurd, therefore, to 
pretend or contend that mediums should be able to ex- 
ercise their powers, whenever they want them, under 
any conditions! And to contend, further, that if they 
fail to do so they are therefore frauds and humbugs! 

For the successful exercise of mediumship or psychic 
power in any direction, the essentials which have been 
mentioned above must be fulfilled, as well as any others 
which the medium may feel are required. These must 
by all means be granted, for if they are not, it is highly 
probable that no phenomena at all will be obtained. 

HARMONY ALL-IMPORTANT 

Harmony is the keynote of successful mediumship, — 
harmony of physical, mental and spiritual life. Thia 
is only carrying to its logical conclusion what we ob- 
serve every day all around us. Have we not all felt, 
immediately upon meeting certain person.'<, that they 
were attractive or repellant to us7 We felt either drawn 
or repulsed inwardly for no reason that we could define. 
Many theories have been advanced to explain this fact, 
but the most probable is that, surrounding each indi- 
ridual, there is an "aura" or psychic atmosphere whicli 
surrounds him like a halo or sheath, extending some 
distance outward from the body and varying with the 
individual temperament, emotions and the physical and 
mental health. If these auras are sympathetic, if they 
blend one with another, then we have attraction, leading 




16 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

in many cases to "love at first sight;" if the opposite 
conditions exist, we have instinctive dislikes which are 
generally correct. As the poet said : 



MENTAL HARMONY 

Next to physical harmony comes mental harmony, and 
here is a wide field for observation and experiment. 
All Spiritualists know that persons of certain tempera- 
ments must be excluded from serious circles, if the 
better class of phenomena are to be obtained. Such 
persons include the fiippant, the arrogant, the unduly 
sceptical, the frivolous, etc. In addition to this, how- 
ever, finer and more subtle points of mental harmony 
must be adjusted in our mental scales. It is advisable, 
whenever possible, to bring together persons having more 
or less the same point of view, interests and sympathies. 
Sympathetic people always obtain better phenomena than 
the extremely intellectual ones. In the latter, the mind 
is, so to speak, hard, unyielding, and tends to build up 
a wall or barrier between itself and the medium, which 
it is difficult or even impossible for the latter to break 
through. We have known of several cases in which 
mediums were unable to obtain any results at all for 
individuals of the very intellectual and, so to speak, 
critical type of mind, whereas they could obtain an 
abundance of striking manifestations for the sympathetic 
and more congenial natures. 

EXCESSIVE GRAVITT 

At the same time, estreme gravity and seriousness 

on all occasions is to be avoided. Everj person who 




"HARMONIOUS CONDITIONS 



luvestigates spirilualisia should see to it that he pre- 
serves throughout his sense of humour, and his continued 
contact with, and interest in, the things of this world. 
If he does not do this, he is liable to become unduly 
swayed and overbalanced by the messages whieb are 
given to him, and by the startling and at first sight 
almost appalling fact that communication with the spirits 
of the departed has really been established! If he does 
not preserve his balance and common sense at such times, 
he is liable to become not only unduly credulous but even 
to "fly off the handle" altogether, and his mind may 
in some instances actually become unhinged. Be 
careful, therefore, to keep the "Compartments" of your 
mind watertight, as it were, and not allow your interest 
for the "things spiritual" to overflow and swamp your 
interest in things material. 

SPIRITDAL HARMONY 
Next we come to spiritual sjTnpathy and harmony, 
which is perhaps most important of all in the formation 
of successful circles. This would include au interest 
in spiritual things, aspirations, benevolence, sympathy, 
a more or less religious turn of mind, tolerance, and the 
ability to see things from the standpoint of another, 
this being sympathy in its broadest sense. It is the 
blending together of a nuuiber of temperaments of this 
character which constitutes the successful circle. The ' 
reason for this harmony and delicate adjustment of con- 
ditions may be seen readily enough by a reference to the 
phenomena not only of the mental but of the physical 
world. For instance, if you set into vibration a tuning 
fork, this will emit a note of a certain pitch, another 
tuning fork, distant many feet from the first ; will in* 



is YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

stantly vibrate in unison if the two are attuued one to 
the other. But unless the tuning forks are adjusted at 
precisely the right pitch, they will not respond, and a 
thousand tuning forks may be placed around the room 
but none of them will respond in any way to the vibra- 
tion of the firat. This crude analogy, drawn from the 
physical world, will show us how essential harmony is; 
and, if this be true, in material phenomena, more cer- 
tainly iB it true in the mental and spiritual realms. 

HARMONY AND VffiRATION 

Every individual is said to vibrate at a certain rate ; 
this is his own "pitch," so to say, and no two human 
beings are alike. This definite rate of vibration doubtless 
corresponds to the personality of the individual, and, 
though no two can be absolutely alike, those who 
approximate each other the nearest, would be the most 
sympathetic and would be the most drawn one to the 
other. And if this is true of spirits incarnate here in 
this life, it is doubtless true when applied to the rela- 
tions between our own spirits and the spirits of those 
who have passed over. There is an old saying that 
"Like attracts Like," If the tone of the circle, and 
of the individuals composing it, is high, the aspirations 
elevated and pure, that circle will attract to it "spirits" 
from the other side, having the same vibrations as it- 
self. The circle will, in fact, only come in contact with 
good and not evil spirits. Certainly, there are excep- 
tions to every rule ; but the above is the general law 
which may be stated in broad terms as true. For, were 
this not the case, we might contend that no such thing 
as justice existed in the Universe, and that Chance 
and not Moral Law held all in its sway. But we know 




"HARMONIOUS CONDITIONS" 

tliat this is not the ease, iDBsmuch as we feel assured in 
our heart of hearts that beauty, truth, and justice are the 
foundation stones upon which this universe is built, 
""We might rightly suppose that this is in every ease the 
truth, and that a circle formed by serious-minded in- 
vestigators, havJDg in view only the highest and best 
motives, would draw to them helpful and loving spirits 
from the great beyond. And the history of Spiritualism 
proves this to be the fact." 

HOW TO FIT TOURSELP FOR A CIRCLE 

The method you should follow to fit yourself most 
effectually for becoming a member of one of these ad- 
vanced circles is as follows: You should perfect and 
make as wholesome as possible the physical body in 
which you live ; this is brought about by paying particu- 
lar attention to the diet, and by taking an abundance 
of exercise, deep breathing and frequent baths. Many 
spiritualists have become vegetarians with this object in 
view, and also non-smokers and abstainers from alcohol. 
Tea and coffee are also debarred in some quarters; but 
aneh strict measures are usually advised only for those 
who are striving for individual spiritual perfection, 
and need not necessarily be followed by one who is a 
member of a large circle. Of course such measures can- 
not fail to benefit an individual in any case. 

THE KEYSTONE OF THE ARCH 

Cultivate cheerfulness, altruism, and a simple, whole- 
some point-of-view, — banishing fear as you would the 
Devil, and never allowing it for a moment to dominate 
or enter into youl Preserve a sane religious balance, 



20 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and endeavour in every way possible to cultivate sym- 
pathy for the point-of-view of others, no matter how 
prejudiced and narrow it may be. Keep your mind 
lifted up, elevated ; and, as Andrew Jackson Davis said, 
"Under all circumstances keep an even mind." If you 
do not naturally possess it, cultivate an insight into 
things spiritual, and above all true benevolence and 
sympathy. This is the keystone of the arch erected to, 
and supporting, self-perfection. 



CHAPTER III 

FEAR AND HOW TO BANISH IT 

We are our own greatest enemies. We create the ma- 
jority of the ills from which we suffer! In psychic in- 
vestigation, more people have suffered from fear than 
from any other depressing emotion ; but, in nine cases 
out of ten. these fears have been perfectly groundless, 
and the subject has had all his fears and worry for 
nothing! He has crossed his bridges before coming to 
them. Were he to reflect for a moment, he woul^J find 
that the terrible things he feared very rarely came to 
him ; that the majority of the experiences which he actu- 
ally went through were of such a nature that he needn't 
have feared them at all. 

fe:ab wrecks, faith saves 

Pear is not only useless (for the reason that it pre- 
vents nothing) but it is actually harmful from this 
double standpoint : In the first place, it helps to induce 
the condition we are fearing. As Job said, "That which 
I greatly feared has come upon me." He thought about 
and dreaded certain conditions so much that he doubt- 
less created them, while, had he not done so, they would 
never have come upon him. Professor William James 
gives us a very good illustration of the way in which 
fear sometimes brings about its own fulfilment. He 
says: "Suppose that, for example, I am climbing in 
the Alps and have the ill luck to work myself into a 
position from which the only escape is by a terrible 




22 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

leap. Being without similar experience, I have no evi- 
dence of my ability to perform it sueeessfuily, but hope 
and confidpncc in myself make me sure that I shall not 
misa my aim, and nerve my tcet to execute what without 
those subjective emotions would perhaps have been im- 
possible. But suppose that on the contrary the emo- 
tions of fear and mistrust predominate, or, suppose that 
I feel that it would be sinful to act upon an assump- 
tion unverified by previous experience, why then, 1 
shall hesitate so long that at last, exhausted and trem- 
bling, and launching myself in a moment of despair, I 
miss my foothold and roll into the abyss. In this case 
(and this is one of an immense class) the part of wis- 
dom elearly is to believe what one desires, for the belief 
is one of the indispensable preliminary conditions for 
the realization of its object. There are then cases where 
faith creates its own verification. 'Believe and you 
shall be right, for you shall save yourself.' 'Doubt, 
and you shall again be right, for you shall perish,' 
The only difference is, that to believe is greatly to your 
advantage." 

The obvious lesson to be drawn from this, is, that you 
should not fear the unknown or unseen until you have 
had just cause to do so. If you do, it will predispose 
you to experience the very manifestations you most 
dread. 

EVIL. EFFECTS OP FEAB UPON THE BODY 

In the second place. Fear has a destructive and de- 
pressing effect upon the body. It depletes the vitality, 
lowers the respiration and doubly incapacitates you from 
performing any serious, rational work or carrying on any 
rational common-sense train of thought. Fear, there- 



1 



FEAR AND HOW TO BANISH IT 23 

fore, is certainly to be avoided, for "it helps nobody 
and harms everybody." But, the reader, may object, 
"I cannot control my fear so easily, it is a thing beyond 
my power, I do not pursue fear, it pursues and overtakes 
me." To a certain extent, this may be true. 

There are two kinds of Fear, the unreasoning instinc- 
tive fear, and the couscious, reflective fear. The former 
is a relic of our lowly ancestry, and is shared by all 
the higher animals. We cannot help that, but sueh fear, 
as a rule, is only momentary and is over in a few in- 
stants, — we have the impulse to flee, etc., which demands 
immediate expression, but this instinctive fear may be 
overcome by the mind. Our reason tells us. upon second 
thought, that we have no cause to fear, and we stop 
abashed and ashamed of ourselves. This is not the fear 
which we have to corrhat, as a rule, since it is bodily 
rather than mental, and of short duration. 

THE KIND OP PE.*H TO PEAB 

The conscious, mental fear i.i that which bothers ub 
and which we should learn to cure. We are sufBciently 
advanced in civilization and in the understanding of 
things spiritual to know that all is natural. Nothing ia 
supernatural. Even if a spirit returns to us, that is a 
natural event, though it may not be a common or ordi- 
nary event, and for this reason, we call it "super- 
normal." But why should we be afraid of the spirit 
of a dearly beloved friend or relative, or even the spirit 
of a stranger coming to us in this way, any more than 
we should be afraid of it when coming to us in the 
flesh t It is the same spirit, — in one case possessing a 
physical body, in the other case animating only an 
ethereal body. Of what i.s there to be afraid? Spirits 



24 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



are but human beings, such as ourselves. We are spirits 
here and now, just as much as we ever will be. Spirits 
are, in fact, human beings who havi; pas-scd tbrough a 
certain experience, called "death" and, as Professor 
Minot Savage said, "They are just folks." Why, there- 
fore should we be afraid of them T 



TOE POWEBS OF DAKKNESS 

We must school the mind to reflection and, by due 
exercise of the reason and the will, not to be afraid of 
sueh happenings, but rather to accept them and be 
thankful for them, and to treat them either as scientific 
happenings or as spiritual events of great significance 
and help. In either case, there is truly no cause to fear. 
It is true that in the case of many persons, darkness 
brings with it a peculiar sense of dread, which is ex- 
perienced by nearly all children and which is to a certain 
extent shared by many animals. A dog will go to the 
door of a dark room, peer in and slink away. Even 
insects often refuse to go into dark places. The cat 
alone seems to enjoy the uncanny sensation which accom- 
panies darkness, and we know that cats are proverbial 
"ghost lovers," while dogs are the reverse! 

It may be that there is more truth in this belief than 
many realize. We know that the orthodox devil was 
known as "The King of the Powers of Darkness." and 
all evil things are a.ssociated with that state. On the 
other band, Jesus was said to he "The Light of the 
World" and light always accompanied spiritual mani- 
festations — as it does today. The expression made use 
of by Mr. Hamlin Garland some years ago in his book 
"The Tyranny of the Dark" may, therefore, have a 
certain foundation. There are perhaps "principalities 




FEAR AND HOW TO BANISH IT 



25 



and powers" which can operate more freely and fully 
in the dark llian in the light, but only if they are 
allowed to do so by the fear and the attitude and mind 
o£ the person experiencing them. We remember that, 
in "Pilgrim's Progress," the travellers were repeatedly 
warned that no harm could eome to them so long as 
they faced their spiritual enemies. And we must re- 
member the words of the greatest of all psychics, "Resist 
the devil and he will flee from thee." 

All we have to do, therefore, in order to prevent the 
domination of any evil thought or power is to fight it, 
resist it, meet it strongly and courageously with calm- 
ness and decision and it will melt before your attack like 
dew before the rays of the morning sun. 



EVn, EMOTIONS 

Mr. Horace Fletcher, in his little book on "Happiness" 
says some very good things regarding fear, which he 
defines as "an expression of fear-thought." "Fear- 
thought," according to this author, is "The self-imposed 
or self- perm it ted suggestion of inferiority. It is both 
a cause and an effect of selfishness. It is the tap-root 
of eviL" 

The body is a mirror in which all states of the soul 
are reflected. Perhaps the most extensive of all the 
morbid mental conditions which reflect themselves so 
disastrously on the human sy.itcm, is the state of fear. 

Dr. Hack Tuke, in his book, "The Influence of the 
Mind Upon the Body," cites a number of well-authen- 
ticated instances of disease having been produced by 
fear or fright. Insanity, idiocy, paralysis of varioua 
muscles and organs, profuse perspiration, turning the 
hair grey in a short time, baldness, nervous shock fol- 



k. 



26 



TOOK PSYCHIC POWERS 



I 



lowed by fatal anemia, mal-formation of the embryo, 
and even skin and other diseases, apparently more re- 
moved than these from the effects of the mind, were 
traced to the effects of fear and other mental disturb- 
ances. He pointed out, also, that epidemics, such as 
cholera, small-pox, diphtheria and other malignant 
diseases, obtain a footing in a eommunity largely through 
the fear of the inhabitants, and that hundreds and even 
thousands of persons fail victims to their own mental 
conditions. 

now PEAK CADSES SICKNESS 

How does fear operate upon the body to produce 
sickness? Largely by paralyzing the nerve centres, 
especially those of the vaso-motor nerves — thus produc- 
ing not only muscular reJasation, hut capillary con- 
gestions of all kinds. It is an interesting fact that fear 
and all depressing emotions of a simitar nature serve 
to constrict or contract the body — while mirth, love, 
altruism, and all the higher emotions serve to produce 
both physical and mental relaxation — opening up the 
mental and physiological doorways of the organism. 
The term "frightened to death" is not a mere expression, 
but is founded upon valid physiological and psychologi- 
cal laws. 

A Southern physician has reported an interesting case. 
It was that of a big, burly negro, who supposed that 
he had been fatally shot. Fear had seized him wit!i 
tremendous power, he shook like an aspen leaf, he bor- 
dered on the state of collapse and death seemed imminent. 
Not finding any blood, the examining physician ordered 
all his clothes removed and, while he was being undressed, 
a flattened bullet fell upon the floor. The doctor ex- 



1 





PEAR AND HOW TO BANISH IT 

bibited the bullet to the frightened patient, explaining 
that he had had a miraculous escape, whereupon bis 
circulation was immediately restored, his countenance 
improved, his temperature became normal and the look 
of life returned to his eyes which had been fixed with 
the gaze of death, while a broad grin crept over his 
face. The negro got down from the operating table and 
dressed, apologized for the fuss he had caused and walked 
home! 

PEAR IS CONTAQIOITS 
Fear has the peculiar power of being extremely con- 
tagious. Under the proper conditions, fear manifested 
by one person is instantly communicated to the entire 
company. They feel little chills run up and down their 
spines, their hair begins to stand on end, and a cold 
perspiration breaks out here and there over the body. 
This shows the profound effect which this emotion has 
uimn the bodily functions, and also how easily it may 
be acquired without reason. Fear has the power of 
almost stopping the heart and paralyzing the entire 
nervous system. A peculiar fatigue is also caused by 
fear, as has been proved by delicate experiments. A 
natural and normal way to overcome tear under such 
conditions is to open the mind to natural faith and 
normal trust. Let the psychic forces be allied with 
faith and health, let fear be finally and for ever cast down 
and banished from the mental domain. This may often 
be brought about by reasoning, though an eifort of will 
iH generally necessary also. A determined opposition 
aeoompanied by trust, faith in wise protection, faith in 
your own powers and in the help of friendly spiritual 
monitors, are of the greatest use and benefit in overcom- 
ing this great monster "Fear." 




n 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



TUB FEAH OP EVIL SPIRITS 

Many people are afraid of "evil spirits," being 
alarmed lest they should influence them against their 
will and cause them to do certain things which they 
would not normally care to do, even to the point of 
obsessing them. There is a real danger here, to a certain 
extent, which will be dwelt upon and explained in the 
chapter on "Obsession." But let it be pointed out 
that the only way to prevent such things, is to keep up 
a normal, healthful resistant attitude of mind and not 
to give way to fear, which would be doing the very thing 
to invite attack. Let us recall onee more the words 
of Job in this connection. So long as the sea-walls or 
dykes of Holland are sound and unimpaired, the ocean 
is kept within its proper limits and cannot break through 
and flood the land as it sometimes does when these walls 
are destroyed. As we know, a tiny little hole through 
which the merest trickle of water can pass, will, unless 
repaired, soon become a wide crevice and then a roaring 
torrent. The most important thing to do is to check this 
in its inception, for it is easy to prevent the ingress of 
the water It taken in time; better still, it would be Ear 
easier to keep the sea-walls in sueh repair that accidents 
of this kind would be impossible, for "prevention is 
better than cure." 

Applying this to the case before us, we can see that 
the very first symptoms of fear must be checked as 
Boon as they arise, for, if they are allowed to continue, 
they will spread and work havoc in the mind, just as 
the waters would work havoc upon the land. The thing -. 
to do is to keep the mind so guarded, strengthened and ^ 
repaired by healthful exercise, intelligent cultivation and 



FEAE AND HOW TO BANISH IT 

control and the exercise of the will, that fear can never 
batter down its ramparts, and, even should it attack 
the citadel of the mind, it would be quite unable to find 
a lodgment within this impregnable fortress. 

THE FEAR OP BEING HTPNOTIZED 

What has been said applies also to the action of hyp- 
notic influences, which many persons fear greatly. They 
are afraid of being hypnotized by some "distant opera- 
tor," and this fear sometimes becomes with them a verit- 
able phobia, so that we occasionally find insane asylum 
patients who have become completely unhinged on ac- 
count of this fear. We can see from this how useless, 
how exceedingly harmful fear of this character is, and 
it is more than useless, it is ridiculous! No one can 
be hypnotized against his own will by a distant operator 
in this way, as many suppose. If they feel influences 
of this character, these feelings are the result of their 
own disordered imagination, and are not due to any 
outside influence whatever. An individual really hypno- 
tizes himself, the operator directing his own mental 
powers into certain channels so that this is brought about. 
If he resists the suggestion, as every one can do at first, 
it is impossible for any one to hypnotize him. 



WHY SUCH PEARS A 

The only way in which a person can be hypnotized 
from a distance is the following: If an operator has 
hypnotized his subject a great many times and repeatedly 
suggested to him, when in the hypnotic trance, that he 
is becoming more suggestible, that he can easily go off 
to sleep, that he has only to think of the operator in 



30 



YOUE PSYCHIC POWERS 



order to fall asleep, etc., he may succeed in making the 
subject so sensitive, after a certain length of time, that 
this condition is really brought about. The subject 
tends to fall into trance on the slightest provocation. 
But such cases are abnormal and are rarely met with, 
and, as I have just said, this condition cannot be brought 
about until the subject has been hypnotized several 
times and these suggestions given to him. These are 
well known facts which any experienced hypnotist will 
sustain. This being so, it may readily be seen how 
absurd it is to fear telepathic suggestion from a distant 
operator, whom perhaps you have never seen! It is 
entirely illusory, and you need in reality have no fear 
whatever in this connection. The will if exercised is 
supreme I 



CHAPTER IV 

THE SUBCONSCIOUS 

In this chapter I shall take up and try to make plain 
to the student the nature and functions of the Bub- 
conscioua mind. This is the greatest of all stumbling 
blocks to many spiritualists, It,s possibilities, and at 
the same time its limitations, should be made clear to 
the student at the beginninj; of his studies, otherwise 
he is sure to get in trouble later on, not only with him- 
self and with the phenomena he is studying, but with 
all persons who discuss these subjects with him, and try 
to persuade him that the whole of Spiritualism may be 
accounted for by the powers of the subconscious. 




WHAT IS THE SUBC0N3CT0US MIND I 

First of all, what is the subconscious mind 1 We do 
not know exactly, but a great deal has been found out 
concerning it within the past quarter of a century. 
Twenty years ago, when Thomson J. Hudson wrote 
his famous work, "The Law of Psychic Phenomena," 
very little was known of the subconscious. Nearly 
everything which has been discovered about it has been 
learned since he wrote. His attitude is doubtless well 
known to the majority of my readers. It is that man 
has "two minds," the conscious and the subconscious; 
or, as he preferred to express it, the "objective" and 
the "subjective'" minds. The first of these is the con- 
scious mind, — the every day, reasoning mind ; the second 
is that vast realm in which occur the phenomena of 



32 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

dreams, hypDOtism, insanity, hysteria, clairvoyance, 
telepathy and all kindred psychic phenomena. He 
placed the "objective" mind in the cerebram, or fore 
part of the brain, and the "subjective" mind in the 
cerebellum, or hinder part of the brain. 

TWO MINDS, OB ONE? 

But this dual conception of the mind is today given 
up by practically all psychologists. They admit that 
the mind is, in a certain sense, dual, but it is believed 
that both minds are in reality one, a part of which is 
conscious, and of the greater part of which we know 
nothing. The analogy of the iceberg has often been 
used. A small percentage of this emei^s above the 
water, and this we see and know ; but the greater part 
of the mountain of ice is below the surface, and this 
we do not know through our senses. Yet it is all one 
iceberg! In the same way there is only one mtjid, but 
when the searchlight of consciousness is turned upon 
certain areas, those areas become illuminated, and we 
"know," or are conscious of, those parts. All else re- 
mains in the dim obscurity beyond, in the great store- 
house of the subconscious mind. 

THE POWERS OP THE SUBCONSCIOUS 

It may easily be proved that the subconscious mind 
acquires far more information, even through the senses, 
than does the conscious mind. The following simple 
experiment will prove this : Lead a person into a strange 
room and ask him to observe as many things in it aa 
he possibly can. Suppo.se he remains five seconds in 
that room. He is then quickly removed and the door 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 33 

shut. If, now, he is asked to tell yon all the things that 
he remembers having seen, he will probably be enabled 
to remember ten or fifteen of them ; but if you were 
to hypnotize that person, he would then describe to 
you, under hypnotic influence, forty or fifty things which 
were in the room. This shows us that the subconscious 
mind, which we reached through hypnotism, has been 
able to perceive or "take in" many more things than 
the conscious mind. This happens to us every day. 



It ia the same with dreams. If, when out walking, 
we should happen to drop a brooch-pin or a piece of 
money, we might be totally unconscious of the fact, 
but the subconscious mind would perceive and record it. 
That night, in sleep, we might have a dream in which 
a figure appeared to us and told us that the article had 
been lost, and that it would be found in such-and-such 
a place. On looking, the next morning, sure enough 
there it was I 

Here we see that the subconscious has perceived a 
certain fact which the conscious mind did not notice. 
For long it was thought that this power signified some 
supernormal faculty of the subconscious mind, but in 
most cases it is not neces-sary to suppose this, for, as the 
last experiment showed us, the subconscious mind takes 
in many things which the conscious mind does not, 
and only the most striking and interesting facts rise 
into consciousness. Of the thousands of events going 
on all around us every day, we perceive but a few ; all 
the rest are ignored, though they are lodged within 
the great mental store-house within us. 



34 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

THE MEMORY OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS 

The powers of the subconscious mind are indeed great. 
It forgets nothing, and facts which have entirety slipped 
from the conscious mind are retained within it, and may 
be recalled years later, or may suddenly flash into the 
memory of their own accord. They may come into the 
mind in the form of some simple thought or memory, 
just as any other thought or memory would; or, they 
may come to us in more startling form. They may be, 
as we say "externalized;" that is, projected upward 
from the subconscious into the conscious mind, forcibly 
and dramatically, as a bomb-shell might be exploded 
within it. In these eases, the thought may strike us as 
coming wholly from without, and not from within our- 
selves at a!l. One or two examples will make this clear. 

You have mislaid a book ; you cannot remember where 
it is. The natural process would be to "recollect." In 
the case of an individual who is psychic or mediumistie, 
the " external izatiou " may take more startling form. 
He may hear a voice telling him to look under certain 
papers upon the library table, and, sure enough, upon 
looking there, the book is found! Or, he may have a 
mental picture of himself leaving the book in that place. 
Or, he may feel a hand, gently pushing him in the direc- 
tion of the table. Or he may see a figure standing before 
him and pointing to the hidden book. In all these cases 
it is improbable that the voice, the touch, and the figure, 
were real, — that is, that they came from some spirit 
friend. They may have done so, but it is true that, in 
many cases at least, they are methods by which the sub- 
conscious mind "extemaliaes" or reproduces its hidden 
memories in dramatic form, just as they are reproduced 
in dreams or in visions of the crystal ball. 



I 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 




35 V 



THE PSYCHIC DIAPHRAGM 



The siibeonacious mind, therefore, may be looked upon 
as composed of a number of strata, like a layer-cake, 
which are, normally, more or less separated from one 
another by a sort of psychic membrane or "diaphragm" 
which is impervious. At timre this "psychic dia- 
phragm" becomes thinned. In that case, we remember 
our dreams of the previous night, or we have wonderful 
constructions of genius, the productions of musical 
prodigies, etc. The subconscious mind works out tha 
problems, and the finished product is projected into the 
conscious mind in its completed form. That is why it 
appears to us so marvellous. On the other band, if a 
part of the subconscious mind is diseased, as may some- 
times happen, then we have hysteria, obsession and 
insanity. 

It will be seen, therefore, that both good and evil 
may result from this thinning or puncturing of the 
"psychic diaphragm," separating the conscious from 
the subconscious mind. If the mind be healthy, and is 
kept so, only good will result. Psychic powers will be 
cultivated and helpful advice will be given to the subject 
thenceforward. If, on the other hand, the mind becomes 
in any way deranged or diseased, then harm may result, 
and the individual may be sorry that he has ruptured 
this dividing diaphragm instead of preserving it intact. 
It la all a question of care, good health, good judgment, 
and a healthy psychic, mental and physical life. 

Once this psychic membrane has been, so to say, 
"puaclured," it is very difQeult to heal it up again, 
and great care must be exercised in developing these 
subconscious phenomena. We shall discuss this more 



e 

3 



36 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



fully, however, in the chapter devoted to "Obsession." 

The subeonscioua mind should be made our friend 
and not our enemy. We should train it carefully, for, 
though it is a good servant, it is a bad master ! It 
should always be kept in check and dominated and con- 
trolled by the conscious mind. When this is the case, 
all goes well. 



now THE SUBCONSCIOUS RECKONS TIME 

The subconscious has, among other faculties, the power 
of reckoning time In a most remarkable manner. Many 
of my readers have doubtlesas conducted the following 
experiment for themselves. On going to bed, you have 
said to yourself, "Now I wish to awake tomorrow morn- 
ing at seven o'clock promptly, because I have such- 
and-such a train to catch," There is no alarm clock 
in the house, but, promptly at seven, you awake ! That 
this is no mere chance coincidence has been proven by a 
number of cases, which have been collected, and the fact 
has also been proven experimentally on hypnotic sub- 
jects. Thus, they have been told that in (say) 9,750 
seconds they would perform a certain action: then they 
were immediately awakened. As soon as awake, they 
knew nothing of the suggestion which had been given 
to them, and nothing of the action they were to perform, 
and yet precisely in 9,750 seconds they performed the 
action in question! We see, therefore, that the sub- 
conscious mind has the faculty of reckoning time in a 
very remarkable manner, and this is but one of its mys- 
terious powers. 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 



! SUBCONSCIOUS RULES THE BODY 



^V Another of its remarkable mauifestatiouB is the power 

which it possesses over the bodily organization. By 
means of suggestion, the pulse has been raised or slowed, 
the temperature has been elevated or lowered, the various 

I secretions of the body have been altered, and many 
similar phenomena which are well-known to any one who 
has read upon this subject. 
One of the most striking cases, doubtless, is that of 
MUe. lima X. A pair of cold scissors was applied to 
her chest, and it was suggested that these were red 
hot and that they were burning the flesh. In a few 
moments an angry red mark appeared, corresponding 
to the shape of the scissors, and the nest day a genuine 
blister had been created which took several days to heal 1 
Here we see the power of the subconscious mind in 
affecting the body, and even the local tissues to a re- 
markable extent. 

If this is true, and the body can be harmed in this 
way, it can doubtless also be cured. We here enter 
the field of suggestion and psychotherapy, which will be 
treated more fully in Chapter XXX. 



HOW TO GIVE YOUR OWN SUBCONSCIOUS MIND 

SUGGESTIONS 

One of the best methods of treating yourself is by 
suggesting certain desirable things just as you are fall- 
ing off to sleep. Thus, if anything is wrong with you 
physically, mentally, or spiritually, suggest to yourself, 
the last thing at night, as you are falling to sleep, that 
all will be well, that the trouble will be removed during 



3 



38 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

the night, that you will wake up refreshed and invigo- 
rated, that there be no pain, no unpleasant feelings or 
emotions in the morning, etc. Suggest, in fact, whatever 
you (Icfiire to have aL'complished, and you will find that, 
during the night, this will have been effected and that 
your bodily or mental ills will have disappeared as the 
result of your auto-suggrstion during the hours of sleep. 
Here again we shall he enabled to see the remarkable 
powers of the subconscious mind brought into play and 
dearly demonstrated. 

SPIRIT MESSAGES AND TUB SUBCONSCIOUS 

Now these faculties of the subconscious mind explain a 
certain number of "spirit messages," which are received 
at si;anees. Let me illustrate this in the following man- 
ner r Just before leaving your home to join a circle, 
you glance at the evening paper. Your attention has 
been attracted to the leading articles; apparently you 
have seen nothing else. At the stance, that evening, 
the name of a friend of yours is spelled out, and the 
announcement that this friend has been killed that day, 
by falling from the fourth story of his residence! At 
first sight this seems a very~ good "test message," but 
on going home and again looking at your evening paper, 
you find a small article tucked away in the corner of 
the paper, stating these facts. Therefore, probably what 
happened was this: Your subconscious mind perceived 
and "took in" these facts without their even rising 
to consciousness, and, at the seance, they were given 
out either by yourself, or by the medium who obtained 
them from your mind by telepathy. In this way many 
messages have been explained and shown to he due 
the workings of the subconscious mind, and not to spirits 



many ■ 

Ine to H 
ipirita H 





I 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 

at all. We must, therefore, always be on our gui 

against three possibilities. 

TQE STRUCTURE OP THE UrND 

The older conception of the hnman mind was that it 
was a .sinffle entity, an individual thing, a sort of 
"sphere" incapable of division. This was, in fact, one 
of Plato's main arguments for the Immortality of the 
Soul. Unfortunately modern science has destroyed this 
illusion. We now know that the human mind is a com- 
posite and not a simple thing. To use a rough analogy, 
it has been proved that the mind is somewhat like a 
rope, composed of a number of strands, twisted together. 
Under normal, healthy conditions, this rope remains 
otk; the strands are united ; but under certain abnormal 
states or conditions, these "strands" may be divided up 
into several groups, and they would all pull in different 
directions. What holds these strands together normally! 
First, good health ; then cheerfulness, attention, con- 
centration, will, and an interest in objective things. 
What favours this disintegration process, — this "disso- 
ciation of the mind," as it is called V The exact oppo- 
site of all this — a run-down or fatigued condition, in- 
trospection, and particularly all continued subjective 
practices and the too-passive attitude of the mind. If 
we lose contact with, and Interest in, the objective world, 
if we go "inside our heads" and spin romances and 
dream day-dreams to too great an extent, if we gaze 
blankly into space, thinking of nothing in particular, 
if we allow the mind to become too passive and do not 
exercise our intellect in a normal, healthy manner, this 
disintegration is likely to take place. The "strands" 
of the rope become separated, and then the mind may 





go to pieces and "apirit obsession" and e 
may result. 

HOW TO HEAL A SICK MIND 

Of course this is only a crude analogy. The mind 
is not like a rope and cannot be divided into strands 
in the same way, but it is an analogy which will help 
us. The only way to heal and restore a mind in this 
condition is to weave or weld together these separate 
strands and bind them up again into one solid single 
"rope," as it were. This may often be done by hypno- 
tism, but great care must be exercised in doing this, for 
if it is not rightly applied by an expert operator, the 
mind may become still more disintegrated, and "the 
last state of that man shall be worse than the first." 

Now, these separate strands of the mind (to return 
to our analogy of the rope) may form different "selves." 
Each self may possess a certain identity and individ- 
uality of its own, and they may all pull in different direc- 
tions,— that is, they may all exercise their own functions 
and powers, and think their own thoughts. There is 
no one self any raorc; it has "gone to pieces." These 
various selves may alternate one with another in the 
same individual, and then we have those interesting 
cases known to us as "alternating personality." If 
there are two of these, we have double personality; if 
there are three or more of these personalitie.'), we have 
a case of multiple personality. There are sometimes six 
or seven of these, and in one case it is reported that 
there were ten, — all in the same individual, all alter- 
nating with one another, all having their own preju- 
dices, likes, dislikes, interests, points-of-view and knowl- 
edge of persons and things ! Many such cases have been 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 41 

cured by welding together several of these "selves" 
by hypnotic suggestion, when the original man was 
restored. 

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPIRITS AND SUBCONSCIOUS 



Now if this be true (and it has been proved to be true 
by many well-authenticated cases) how distinguish these 
"selves" from true spirits? This is a very complex 
question, which cannot be fully answered in this place, 
because we must understand, first of all, more of the 
nature of the subconscious mind and its powers. But 
one simple test can be applied, which is this. All these 
personalities, or parts of selves, derive their knowledge 
of men and things through the same source, namely 
the five senses. None of them can possibly know any 
fact which was not supplied to them through sight, 
hearing, touch, etc., — so that, if any of them manifest 
supernormal knowledge, this proves to us at once, either 
that some external intelligence is present, or that this 
personality, whatever it may be, has acquired this knowl- 
edge in some occult manner, — by telepathy, clairvoyance, 
etc. Which of these two interpretations is the correct 
one I shall endeavour to answer in another place. 

PERSONALITIES CREATED BT HYPNOTISM 

It may seem incomprehensible to many how the human 
mind can become split up or "dissociated" in this man- 
They think that this is rather a far-fetched theory 
and prefer to believe the simple theory of "Spiritism" 
88 applied even to the most simple facts. This might 
be admissible but for the following consideration: We 
can trace a gradual series of intermediate steps all the 



J 



42 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

way from normal states of mind to these dissociations. 
In day-dreaming and absent-mindedness we see the firat 
of these steps. When we hypnotize a subject and sug- 
gest to him that he is Napoleon Bonaparte or Julius 
Caaar, and he enacts the part with due gravity, we can 
hardly suppose that Napoleon Bonaparte or Julius 
Ca?sar really returned to manifest through him! And 
should any be inclined to accept this view, it may be 
said that the hypnotic subject will just as easily carry 
out the suggestion that he is a lion or a bear or a bird 
flj-ing in the air, — and no one, we imagine, would contend 
that a lion or a bear or a bird really manifested at 
such times ! So, therefore, we see that one part of the 
mind may enact a little comedy by itself, without the 
knowledge of another part; and, from this simple fact 
to the most striking phenomena of the subconscious we 
can trace a definite chain of connection. 

THE PICTUBE-POKMING FACULTY OP THE MIND 

One of the most striking powers which the subconscious 
mind possesses is its ability to reconstruct mental pic- 
tures or photographs of distant or imaginary persons. 
Your mind contains a whole picture-gallery of all your 
friends, which you see, as it were, in your "mind's eye." 
This is limited not only to your friends and relatives, 
but to heroes of books you have read, and even to imagi- 
nary personages. These pictures are not set and inert; 
but live and move ; and we place the charact-ers in various 
situations and cause them to move, act and talk as human 
beings would do. Thus, suppose your friend "A" or 
David Ha rum, or some imaginary personage, were 
thought by you to be on a journey. You would imagine 
them to be in various situations, and would picture to 



^f yourse] 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 



43 



yourself precisely how they would act in each situation, 
and would put into their months arguraents and con- 
versations which they would carry on with those ahout 
them. 

This faculty which the mind possesses is a very 
peculiar one, and its functions are teehnieally known 
as "Spiritoid functions." They have a great bearing 
upon Spiritism. 

now DREAM PERSONALITIES TALK 

These phenomena show us how easy it is for the sub- 
conscious to imagine that various personages are present, 
carrying on a conversation with us, etc., whereas, as a 
matter of fact, they are not present at ail, but were 
invented by us. If, therefore, at a seance, some exalted 
personage appears and claims to communicate, we must 
always assure ourselves first of all that this personage is 
not one of these semi-conscious or subconscious crea- 
tions, and mu.st make him give proof of his own identity. 

This faculty of the mind is again seen in dreams. 
In dreams we create situations in a similar manner, 
and imagine that other personages are present talking to 
UB. We have long debates and arguments with such 
personages, and sometimes they beat us out! So yoa 
see how important it is to be sure that the Intelligences 
which communicate at seances are not creations, but are 
really individualities, as they claim to be. 

HOW TO DlSTiNQUISn TBLfE PROM FALSE 

■'How are we to prove this and make this distinc- 
tion!" you may say. The following U the first method: 

All our knowledge, whether it is conscious or sub- 
ronscious, is supposed to be obtained through the five 



44 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

senses. The subconscious ia built upon the facts obtained 
by means of hearing, sight, touch, etc. Now, if the 
communicating Intelligence tells us many facts (as proof 
of its identity) which the mind of the medium newer 
knew, we have fairly good proof of identity — or at 
least that the knowledge given was obtained by some 
Bupemonnal means. 

But, decisive proof is not yet obtained! We know 
that there are other methods of obtaining supernormal 
information, for instance, telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. 
Adding these powers to the subconscious faculties of the 
medium, we have often a difficult task to prove that 
the Intelligence which communicates with us is really 
the personage it claims to be. Repeated questions must 
be asked, absolute proof of identity must be insisted 
upon, and in this way only can we be sure that we have 
passed beyond the limitations of the subconscious mind 
of the medium, and that we are really obtaining mes- 
sages direct from the Spirit World. 

WHY AND HOW SPIIUTS PROVE THEIR mENTITT 

This proof of identity is really the great problem and 
the first point to solve. Let me make this plain. Sup- 
pose that a cousin of yours had disappeared twelve years 
ago. One day you receive a call over the telephone and 
a voice says to you, "I am your cousin, so-and-so. I 
demand my share of your uncle's will!" Naturally, 
you would reply, "How do I know that you are so- 
and-so T" In daily life, it would be an easy matter to 
prove this; he could appear before you ui his phyaieal 
body and you could identify him, — more or leas easily 
in most cases. But suppose he were so placed that he 
could never see you personally. In such a case, how 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS 



45 



could he prove to you that he really waa the person 
in question t 

He would have to relate to you a number of personal 

and detailed incidents in his past life, which he would 
be the only likely person to know ; or, relate facta which 
only he and you knew ; or, tell you things which you did 
not know, but which you afterwards found out to be 
correct. If you received a number of these replies, you 
would be right in concluding that he really was the 
person at the "other end of the line"; and this is the 
way in which spirits prove to us their identity. Until 
they do so, we can never be sure that the teachings they 
give are correct. If they succeed in proving their iden- 
tity we may then accept their word as to the conditions 
of the nest life, and other matters, since they were al- 
ways truthfnl people in this life, and we have no reason 
to suppose that they are other than truthful now. 

HOW WE OBTAIN SPIRIT MESSAGES TEBOUGB THE 
SUBCONSCIOUS 

The subconscious is the chaime! through which we 
obtain spirit messages, in nearly all cases. That Is, they 
come through, or by means of, the subconscious mind, 
and it, therefore, assists the "spirits" to communicate. 
The spirit can manipulate or act upon the subconscious 
while it cannot readily affect the conscious mind. This 
we can see ourselves in the following way: Many of 
us have noticed that just as we are dropping off to sleep, 
a forgotten memory has flashed into the mind. It could 
not find its way to our conscious attention while the 
latter was busy with the day's activities, but as soon 
as the conscious mind became passive, then the subcon- 
scious had the power to send up this memory or message 



k. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



■ 



of waming. It is the same in the case of "spirits" wlio 

communicate. They are only enabled to do so when the 
conscious mind is in abeyance, — quieted, or abstracted, 
more or leas completely, as in a trance. Then the spirit 
is enabled to aet upon the subconscious mind of the 
medium and, through it, to reach us still in the body. 
The subconscious is, therefore, the true medium or 
vehicle for the manifestation of discamate spirits, and 
this will become more apparent when we come to con- 
sider the phenomena of trance, wMch will be dealt with 
more fully in a later chapter. 



CHAPTER V 



THE SPIRIT WORLD 



Orthodox theology has always taught us that, when wa 
"die," we pass into either one of two places: Heaven 
or Hell. The Catholic church introduces a third inter- 
mediary state, Purgatory ; and when in this state, souls 
may be helped either by those who have passed over 
or by the prayers of the living. It will thus be seen that, 
in this respect at least, the Catholic chureh approaches 
nearer than any other religion the doctrines of Spirit 
ualism! 

Information regarding the spirit world has come to 
us in various ways. Seers or clairvoyants have gone 
on "spiritual excursions" into the spiritual world, and 
have told us, on coming back, what they have remem- 
bered of their clairvoyant visions. Moses, St. John, 
Swedenborg, Andrew Jackson Davis and others were 
seers of this type. 

On the other hand, we have the direct statements of 
"spirits" who have come back and related to us the pre- 
cise conditions existing in the next world. Prom both 
these sources spiritualists have succeeded in constructing 
a fairly complete representative picture of the next life 
and its various activities. I propose here to give a rapid 
and more or less dogmatic resumi of these teachings — 
without fully endorsing them myself, but merely asking 
the reader to form his own opinion concerning them. 

APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS 

There are various contradictory teachings, regarding 

the future state, which have been given us from time 



48 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



to time in the past, and it has been held by many that, 
because of thesie contradictions none of them can be 
trusted; conseqiieutly none of the descriptions can be 
true! Thus, "spirits" who return through many 
French mediums declare that reincarnation is a fact, 
while those who return through English and American 
mediums declare that it is not a fact ; etc. How are we 
to account for these discrepancies I As this is a stum- 
bling block to many spiritualists, the reason for these 
contradictions must be given at once. 

The answer is, as a matter of fact, simple enough. 
"Spirits" tell us that, after death, they are by no means 
omniscient. On the contrary, they enter the next life, 
as before said, earrj'ing with them all their prejudices, 
beliefs and pre-conceived opinions. Now, this being the 
case, we can see that a spirit who, when alive, believed 
in reincarnation would, after death, continue to believe 
in it, and he would naturally gather round him or drift 
into the company of those who also believed in it. In 
returning through a medium, therefore, he would state 
dogmatically that reincarnation was true! He would 
merely express his own belief, which might or might 
not be true. On many points of this nature we have 
no absolute means of arriving at the truth. "Spirits" 
tell us their convictions, their beliefs, and these are 
founded on observation, or the wisdom of those spirits 
who have progressed greatly since their departure from 
earth. 

THE DOCTRINE OP "ZONES" AND "SPHEHES" 

Many "spirits" teach us that the spirit world is 
composed of a number of "zones" and "spheres," one 
upon the other. Some have stated that there are thirty- 



\ 



f 



THE SPIRIT WORLD 49 

two such zones, others sixteen, but the greater number 
have declared that there are but eeven, — beginning with 
the one nearest the earlh, in which are earthbound 
spirits, and progressing gradually until they are in- 
habited by more and more spiritualized beings. These 
Zones are said to exist one beyond the other, like the 
various layers of an onion. 

On the other hand, others tell us that there are no 
such things as zones or spheres, but that Heaven or 
Hell are merely mental states, and that the various de- 
grees of spiritual perfection represent the different zones. 
They do not occupy space, that is ; they exist purely in 
the mind of the individual. Yet, perhaps, these two 
may be but two aspects of a single truth! It is only 
natural to suppose that those of similar interests would 
gravitate together just as they do in this life, and shun 
the society of others less evolved than them.'selves (unless 
they chose voluntarily to help them as occasion arose). 

This being the case, those more advanced spiritually 
would congregate in certain places, and those less ad- 
vanced would gather together in other places; so that, 
although the zones would not exist as physical spheres, 
shut off from each other by physical barriers, as many 
believe, yet they exist practically, — the barrier being a 
mental or spiritual one, 

COWDITIONS AND OCCUPATIONS IN THE SPIRIT WOKLD 
Spiritualism teaches that the next life is a busy one; 
that we continue our pursuits, activities and interests 
just as we do here, only under more favourable conditions. 
Evolution reigns supreme, — just as it does in this world. 
This is only natural and rational and what we should 
expect. It is a gradual continuation and process of ad- 



50 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

vancement. The next world is said to be more or less 
a duplicate of this one. Those who are interested in 
learning may attend lectures or schools of instruction, 
may read, write, compose, paint, play, etc., just as they 
do here. The scenery is more or less similar to the 
scenery on this earth, although more beantiful and per- 
fect in every respect. We are told that children never 
enter the lower spheres; nor are there any flowers in 
these spheres, they are found only in the higher spheres 
or more advanced stages. These spheres can influence 
one another more or less directly to a great extent, and 
particularly the higher spheres can exert a helpful in- 
fluence on the lower ones. For this reason progress is 
always possible for a Spirit who desires it. He can 
secure assistance from those who are more advanced 
than he is in the spiritual world. His progress would, 
therefore, be rapid ; and it all depends upon individual 
effort how rapid this will be. The sooner a spirit realizes 
his own possibilities, and the fact that his own future 
happiness or unhappiness depends upon himself, the 
more rapidly will he advance. 

THE SPIRIT BODY 

"Spirits" tell us that we inhabit, in the next life, 
a body similar to the material body, — bat representing 
the glow of yonth in its strength and purity. "The 
spirit of man is ever young," and that being so, it 
assumes that rejuvenated outward appearance, upon 
entering the new life. This etheric body is incapable 
of fatigue, and is fed by the magnetic and spiritual 
forces which surround it in that sphere. Children, 
entering the new life, gradually grow to maturity, though 
mor« rapidly than they do on this earth, because greater 




THE SPIRIT WORLD 



51 



I 



I 



advantages are offered them, and progress ia consequently 
swifter. At the age of greatest mental and spiritual 
maturity they cease growing, and thenceforward remain 
in that perfected condition. 

ON BNTBKINQ THE SPnUT WOULD 

Upon entering the next life, the human spirit is met by 
friends or relatives who have before passed over and 
who are drawn, by natural magnetic attraction and 
sympathetic interest to those who have just entered 
the "Spirit World." When the spirit enters the next 
life, it undergoes in a way a "new birth," and is for 
some time bewildered. This is only natural after the ■ 
shodt and wrench of death. When we have had an 
accident in this life, and have been knocked unconscious, 
the process of regaining consciousness is peculiar. 
When such a man opens his eyes, objects are presented 
to him vaguely, indistinctly. He would "see men as 
trees walking." Sounds would be heard but faintly. 
There would be a vague jumble of noises, and no definite 
and articulate sounds would be recognized at first, — 
until consciousness was more fully reatored. Thoughts 
would be scattered, incoherent, and only the strongest 
stimuli would focus the attention on any definite object 
for longer than a few moments at a time. 

When a man dies, the departure of the soul from the 
body must be as great a strain upon the surviving con- 
sciousness as any accident could be, especially in cases 
of suddeu death, suicide and iu those cases where the 
patient is said to "die hard." Of course, after a little 
time, the spirit survives the initial shock, and soon be- 
comes adjusted to the new environment and condition; 
and this fact would account for the bewilderment and 




52 YOUE PSYCHIC POWERS 

confusion which many spirits seem to experience upon 
their entering into the nest life. It is only natural, 
and what we should expect 



L 



SEX IN THE SPIRIT WORLD 

Many have asked whether the distinction of sex is 
maintained in the next life; whether man continues to be 
man and woman woman. Here, again, many different 
opinions have been expressed by those who have passed 
over, but the majority seem to contend that the distinc- 
tion between male and female is fundamental, — men- 
tally and spiritually no less than physically, and for 
this reason they are destined to be more or less different 
for all time. This does not mean, as many think, that 
woman is there (as she is here, too often) in a condition 
of subservience or inferiority. On the other hand, she 
is man's equal in many particulars; in some ways in- 
ferior to him, and in some ways superior. It is a ques- 
tion of differing viewpoint and constitution. Each may 
attain perfection and ultimate complete happiness in 
their own particular way, — just as every individual here 
must obtain it in his own way. 

As to the relations of the sexes in the next life, the 
teaching of the highest spirits is that there is love, 
harmony, sympathy, co-operation and a mental and 
spiritual blending together of their natures which cor- 
responds to physical love on this plane. 

"Earth-bound spirits" in the lowest plane are said 
to be unable to get away from the "atmosphere" and 
"magnetic attraction" of this earth, and do not care to, 
even if they could. They are the cause of much of the 
trouble which mediums experience, often causing obses- 
sion by delivering false or lying messages. 



THE SPIRIT WORLD 



53 



There aeema to be a law which permits "spirits" from 
the higher zodcs to descend into the lower zones, but 
the reverse of this does not take place. Thus, there are 
good or spiritual influences always playing upon the 
lower spheres from the higher spheres, and progress 
is thus rendered easy to those who care to take advantage 
of their opportunities. 

WHERE AND HOW SPIRITS LIVE 

Many of the descriptions which have been given to 
us indicate that spirits inhabit houses or "mansions" 
very similar to our own, and that the scenery of the 
spirit-land is also similar to that of the earth plane, 
^nly more beautiful. ' ' Garments ' ' of variegated 
colours are said to be worn, as well as ornaments for 
those who care for them. The occupations of spirits 
are many and varied. Time is not spent in the spiritual 
spheres, as many imagine, in idleness or in religious 
devotions. 

HOW SPIRITS TALK 

The "spirit-body" in the "spirit-heaven" is thus as 
material to them as our world, only it exists on a differ- 
ent plane of activity, and vibrates at a different rate of 
activity from ours, — hence it is invisible to us, as we 
are usually invisible to them, and it requires clair\'oy- 
ance on the part of spirits to perceive the material 
world, just as it does on the part of mortals to perceive 
the spiritual world. Conversation between "spirits" 
is carried on by a species of thought-exchange or telep- 
athy, though the conversation appears perfectly natural 
and as though delivered by means of mouth, as it is 
with us. We can form some idea as to how natural this 



54 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



would be from our dreams, — when the exchange of 
thought is purely mental, yet the words spoken to each 
other by the dream-figures seem as natural and as 
sonorous as our usual conversation. 

INSANITY AND SPffilTS 

There are, strictly speaking, no insane spirits, it is 
said, except in the earth sphere, and these, previous 
to their insanity, were degraded spiritually and morally. 
They frequently continue in some degree insane for 
a long period of time, their spiritual condition not being 
favourable to thoir restoratdon, and here they are often 
attracted to mortals with like tendencies whom they 
obsess and through whom they ventilate their own dis- 
ordered fancies and even impel them to acts of vio- 
lenee. However, as much insanity is caused by disorders 
of the links between body and mind, and, as these are 
all severed at the moment of death, the mind is usually 
normal and sound as soon as it enters the spirit world, 
and in any ease it recovers very rapidly upon its en- 
trance into that realm. 

HOW spmrrs travel 
"Spirits" are said to possess the ability to move from 
place to place with estrcme rapidity, — the fact, "as 
quick as thought," as the saying is. It is as easy for 
one to imagine oneself in China or in England as it is 
to imagine oneself in Brooklyn, if one is living in New 
York. The one process takes no longer than the other, 
and, as you are {in the spirit world) where your thoughts 
and interests are, you may readily perceive that it takes 
you no longer to reach one place than it does another. 
However incredible this may seem, at first sight, it it 



1 



THE SPIRIT WOBLD 

qaite intelligible when we remember the rapidity with 
which wireless messages travel, — flying through space 
at the speed of light (186,000 miles a second) this would 
carry these waves nearly 7i^ times around the world 
in one second, and it has beeu esperimentally proven 
that these electric waves do travel at that rate. Such 
being the ease, we can at least conceive that thought 
can travel at as quick a rate, however inconceivable it 
may appear to our reason. 

GOOD AND EVn, SPIRITS 
We have heard much of obsessing and lying spirits, 
of evil spirits and those who work harm, but we must 
remember that there are spirits of quite another char- 
acter in the "Heavens," who are said to protect and 
guard UB, give us wise counsel and advice, and are, in 
fact, veritable "Guardian Angels." Their duty is to 
impress our minds, and by this means to instruct and 
guide us, to instil good thoughts and resolves, admonish 
OS of our faults, reprove us when we go astray and 
assist in the development of special talents. They do 
not interfere directly in the physical world, but im- 
press our minds, influencing them in this way or in that. 

THE DOCTRINE OP "COKKESPONDENCES" 

There is said to be a definite agreement or correspond- 
ence between the material and spiritual order of things. 
What we perceive as a tree in this world is only the out- 
ward manifestation of the real spiritual tree lying within 
it, and this is true of all physical manifestations and 
facts which we see in nature. Every physical body has 
a corresponding spiritual body behind it, and this fact 
gave rise to the famous doctrine of "Correspondences" 




56 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



elaborated by Swedenborg. This correspondence throws 
a little light on the bewildering fact that spirits often 
speak of spirit-gold, spirit-marble, spirit-housea, spirit- 
books, etc., as if they were tangible realities, — not, of 
course, that these are sublimations of corresponding 
objects of earth, existent throughout but different as to 
material, yet sufficiently alike to be called by the same 
name. In other words, these spirit-objeefs are expressed 
in a different vehicle of the nature which is to us, ex- 
ternalized as gold, marble, etc. 

We must endeavour to realize the reality of the spirit- 
nal world, which we have been unaccustomed to think 
of as in any way substantial owing to the teachings 
of theology. 

THE DIPnCULTY OP DESCRIBING THE SPIRIT-WORLD 

It is impossible to express things psychic adequately 
in direct language for the simple reason that our worda 
are images drawn from material things and their effects. 
Immaterial things and the life beyond must, therefore, 
generally be described by sjTnbols rather than by words, 
and these symbols (whether seen in vision or representing 
themselves to the mind in the normal state) partake lesa 
of the seer's idiosyncrasies than any direct language 
would do. This symbolism is often carried to a high 
place in interpretation — so much so that the original is 
almost lost sight of. Of this, however, we shall speak 
at length in the chapter devoted to "Symbolism." 

There is much evidence to show that spirits can create 
forms and objects by the mere exercise of their volition. 
They build up what appear to be solid objects by the 
use of their minds, and these objects are often mistaken 
by the spirits for realities. Thus, thought-forms may 



1 



THE SPIRIT WORLD 57 

be created by a spirit iutelligence, and this is a fact 
which many spiritualists have overlooked, — though it 
is an important one as I shall endeavour to show later. 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT 

Wrong and evil in some ways seem connected with 
darkness. "Unhappy spirits" always complain that 
they can find no "light," but, as they progress, the 
Darkness seems to lift and Light begins to dawn. This 
does not mean that they emerge from a material dark- 
ness into a material light, but go through a process of 
psychic evolution, which would, in their own minds, 
correspond to this. The quickest way for an unhappy 
spirit to progress towards the light is for it to help and 
comfort or assist another in like condition. Unfortu- 
nately, they are very often ignorant of this, but for- 
tunately many spiritualists have done a great deal of 
good in the seance room, etc., by giving this knowledge to 
"spirits" of a low order. Many of the "spirits" who 
have passed over, being nearer earth than "Heaven," 
soon after their transition are more easily reached by 
the living than by other spirits, — so far as comfort 
and advice and assistance are concerned, — and for this 
reason prayers of the living are often of great help to 
those who have recently passed over and are extremely 
earth-bound by reason of their mental and moral char- 
acteristics. Ordinary advice and assistance may also 
be given to these spirits at a seance, 

VISITS TO THE SPIRIT WORLD 

The spirit world can occasionally be visited, it is said, 
by the spirit of the sleeper or the somnambulist, and 
the deeper the sleep, the more separated from the body 



58 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



is the spirit — untii, in deep trance, the spirit is some- 
times entirely withdrawn. In deep sleep, also, the spirit 
occasionally goes on clairvoyant excursions, and comes 
back to its normal body,— remembering much that it has 
seen in the spiritual realms. In the state of "ecstasy" 
these voyages are often made, and the seer will retain 
a certain amount of conseiousneM of this earth and be 
able to dictate to those about him his impressions while 
visiting the spiritual world, and while seeing more or 
less clearly what is happening there. 

"Spirits" are said to exercise free-will and have far 
more liberty of choice in the next world than they do 
here — where they are bound by habit and tradition no 
less than by mental and physical obstructions and diffi- 
culties. The psychic gifts of spirits are far more highly 
developed than they were when on this earth, and they 
are frequently capable of exercising the faculty of fore- 
knowledge or prevision as well as other supernormal 
powers, — such as telepathy, clairvoyance and clairau- 
dience. 

INFINITE INTELUQENOE 

They are also able to perceive the general Plan of 
Nature far more thoroughly and effectively than we, 
because they have, so to speak, a greater mental grasp of 
the Universe in its entirety ; and many spirits who have 
died while disbelieving in an Infinite Intelligence have, 
as time progressed, shown that they have more or lesa 
changed their viewpoint and now are more definitely 
religious than they were before. As Dr. Crowell says, 
"I have constantly been impressed with the numerous 
proofs of the creative and sustaining power of Deity, 
and step by step I have been led to undoubtingly be- 
lieve that He, though not in human form, is everywhere 



1 

ome- ■ 




THE SPIRIT WORLD 



present, — the Creator, Preserver and Controller of all 
things, — literally God, in the most comprehensive sense 
of the term, with whom all wisdom and power and 
Infinite Love extends to all his creatures. This is the 
effect of these investigations upon my mind, and I am 
disposed to believe that similar and more extended re- 
searches by others in the future will lead all true, earnest 
spiritualists to the same belief, and thus modern Spirit- 
ualism will be stamped with the higher polity of 
true religion with a correct, though necessarily limited, 
conception of Ood's character, and of his relations to 
U8 and of ours to him." 

SHALL WE "see QOD"* 

However this may be, it is claimed that "spirits" 
for some time after transition at least do not definitely 
know anything more about the nature or extent of this 
Infinite Intelligence than we do. They do not pass 
directly into the presence of any Deity, as theology tells 
us. Questioned on this fact, they reply, "I do not 
knowl" However, as they progress in spiritual per- 
ception ajid understanding, they gradually perceive that 
the Universe, instead of being a Chaos due to chance, 
is orderly and systematic, and governed by a Supreme 
or Infinite Intelligence which is the Guiding Principle 
involved, and that,it would only be Iqgical to believe that 
such an Intelligence necessarily existed. 

THE spmrr world the source op energy 

The spiritual world is the source of all energy. Even in 

this life our energy is derived from some spiritual source. 

The nature of life is as yet unltnown, and there is every 

indication that it is due to some spiritual influx acting 



i 



60 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



upon and through the material world. One proof of 
this is that, during the hours of sleep, when the body- 
is resting and passive, the nervous or spiritual energy 
is revived, the body is recharged, as it were, in the same 
way as a storago-battery might be recharged with elec- 
tric energy. This process does not depend upon any 
material condition, — for sleep can often revive us in- 
stantly, as many can attest. lu moments of extreme 
exhaustion, the head may drop to the breast for a fraction 
of a second, and a moment later consciousness be re- 
gained, yet, in that moment of time, some complete 
spiritual revivification has taken place. The energy of 
the body seems to have been recharged or replenished, 
and new energy infused from some spiritual source in a 
manner which would be quite inexplicable, were we to 
depend upon the ordinary teachings of science to explain 
such facts. 

The phenomena and teachings of Spiritualism alike 
constitute a great solace and comfort to many souls 
in' distress and sorrow. The proof that death does not 
end all and that the individual human spirit continues 
to exist as an entity and in precisely the same form 
as it is now, is a great comfort to the majority of 
persons. In this way, the teachings of Spiritualism 
are a solace to those who accept them. To those who 
not only believe, but are enabled to obtain some of the 
varied phenomena, this assurance and consolation is 
doubly true, 

THE DIFFERENT KINDS OP "SPIRITUAL GIFTS" 

There are many "spiritual gifts," as St. Paul says, in 
his message to the Corinthians. He wrote, "Now there 
ere diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, And there 



THE SPIRIT WORLD 



61 
■ Lord, 



are differences of administrations, but the se 
and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same 
God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of 
the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For 
to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to 
another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to 
another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gift 
of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working 
of miraeies, to another prophecy, io another discerning 
of spirits, to another diverse kinds of tongues, to another 
the interpretation of tongues ; but alt these worketh that 
one and the self-same Spirit dividing to every man 
severally as he will. (1. Corinthians, Chap. XII.) 

How any one can disbelieve in spirit communication 
on the ground that it is contrary to Bible teachings, after 
the above passage, it is hard to comprehend, — since here 
are a large number of spirit manifestations clearly out- 
lined and stated by the Apostle* to be manifestations of 
the Divine Spirit I 




CHAPTER VI 
THE HEALTH OF MEDIUMS AND PSYCHICS 



H 



The health — bodily, mental and spiritual — of mediums 
ia a very important factor in all mediumistic and psychic 
development, — far more so than is usually realized. In 
the first place, we have a certain amount of bodily energy 
in order to accomplish anything we desire in life, and 
this energy comes largely from physical health. 
Mediums have found to their cost that the production 
of phenomena (especially of the physical order) is at 
times a very exhausting process, and unless they keep 
themselves in good bodily health, they discover that they 
become run down and nervously exhausted, in which 
case they render themselves subject to insomnia, de- 
pressing mental emotions, and, if this gets worse, to 
obsession and even greater dangers and difSeulties. It 
is very important, therefore, for all mediums to keep 
up their physical health. 

A HBAI.THY BRAIN 

The mind of man depends largely upon the condition 
of his brain and, if this is not rested, freshened and 
supplied in abundance with rich, healthy blood, hia 
mental life suffers in consequence, for we know that 
any poisonous substance, mixed with the blood, imm^ 
diately affects the mind by circulating through the deli- 
cate substance of the brain. The tiny nerve-cells, all 
over the body, which are the storehouses of enei^y, may 
be compared to a number of tiny cups, which we fill 




with energy every night during sleep and more or less 
empty every day. Our duty is to keep these little cupa 
brim full, and if we allow them to become too emptied, 
so that nothing is left, we run into danger of nervous 
exhaustion, neurasthenia, etc. The first thing which the 
medium must pay attention to is, therefore, the state 
of his physical health: and the following rules will be 
found helpful by all those who wish to attain this con- 
dition. 

DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES 

In the first place, a certain number of decp-breathingr 
exercises should he taken every day. These serve to 
keep the lungs active and to massage the internal organs. 
But deep breathing exercises have a more potent and 
far-reaching effect than this. There is a peculiar life- 
giving property in fre-sh air, and if we do not breathe 
this fully, we never live as completely and receive as 
large a supply of the vital and magnetic currents of 
the nniverse as we otherwise would. If any one doubts 
this he has but to stand erect and take half a dozen 
deep breathing exercises, as directed below, and he will 
feel energized from top to toe. The way to take these 
breathing exercises so as to get the best results is as 
follows : 

HOW TO BREATHE 

1. Stand before an open window or out of doors, — 
free from all restrictive clothing. Before beginning, 
exhale forcibly, bending the body forward, and relaxing 
the muscles. Place both open hands over the abdomen. 
Now breathe as deeply as possible against these hands, 
expanding the abdomen as much as possible, without 
allowing the chest or ribs to expand in the least. In 




64 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



other words, breathe with abdomen only. A£t«r you 
have done this five or six times, place both your hands 
against your ribs on either side. Now breathe in deeply, 
pressing out the ribs, but without allowing either the 
abdomen or the upper cheat to expand. After you have 
done this five or six times, place your hands on the 
upper cheat, just bplow the neek, and breathe with this 
portion of the lungs, without allowing either the ribs 
or the abdomen to e.xpand. At first you will find it 
very difficult to control your breathing, limiting it to 
these parts of the lungs: but this will come with practice, 
and it will be shown later in Chapter XLI how important 
these breathing exercises are, when the psychic side of 
the breathing exercises is understood. 

THE PSYCHIC (complete) BREATH 

After you have mastered these three separate steps, 
you will be enabled to take what is known as a "complete 
breath." — that is, one which expands first the abdomen, 
then the ribs, then the upper chest. You should, by 
this time, have such control over your breathing that 
you are enabled to do this in three distinct stages, or 
merge them together into one, as you wish. In all these 
breathing exercises, the back of the nasal passage should 
be relaxed, and you should breathe through the nose 
(never the mouth) as though you were smelling a flower. 
If you do this and relax inwardly, you will find that the 
air strikes the back of the throat before it is felt at all, 
and you will never notice the air in the nose itself. 
Practice this every day until you become proficient. 
The best way to insure this is to close the lipa, while keep- 
ing the teeth separated ; then throw down the under por- 
tion of the jaw. 



1 



HEALTH OF MEDIUMS AND PSYCHICS 



DEVELOPING EXERCISES 

2. A certain amount of exercise should be taken each 
day. The particular character of exercise which will 
be found beneficial for the maintenance of health, also 
for the development of psychic and mediumistic gifts, 
are those which develop the vitality of the inner organa, 
about the waist line. Bending exercises of all kinds 
are especially useful. Large muscles are not required 
for good health, but energy and endurance are. The 
following four exercises will be found very helpful, in 
this connection. 

(a) Stand erect, raising both arms over the head as 
far as possible. Raise yourself on your toes and, at 
the same time, stretch upwards with the finger-tips as 
far as you can, as though trying to lengthen yourself. 

(b) Stand as before, arms raised over the head; now 
bend forward and try to touch the floor with your finger- 
tips without bending the knees. Again raise yourself 
to a standing position very rapidly. This is a well- 
known but very useful exercise. 

(c) Stand as in exercise (b) and bend the body side- 
ways from the waist as far as possible — first to the left, 
then to the right. Make this motion as rapid as you can. 

(d) Stand as before and bend slowly, trying to touch 
the floor with the fingers. As you do this, take iu a 
deep breath. The purpose of this exercise is to compress 
the liver from above and below at the same time, and 
this massage will prove very helpfuL 

HEALTH H1NT3 

Other points to be observed in maintaining good health 
are the following; 



3 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



1. Eat as little red meat as you can, since this is 
acknowledged by all to retard psychic development. 

2. Eat a certain amount of fruit every day, not in 
addition to other food, but in place of it. Aeid fruits 
are partieuiarly beneficial in nearly all cases. 

3. Drink at least a quart of water each day. 

4. Accustom the body to cool baths. It is best to begin 
these in the summer-time and continue them in the 
winter. 

5. Wear as little clothing as you can, consistent with 
warmth. The skin breathes as well as the lungs, and 
free circulation of air on the surface is essential. 

THE POWERS OP THE MIND 

We now come to the mental factor. Few realize how 
important this is, in the development of psyehie gifts. 
If the mind be depressed, worried, scattered and unable 
to concentrate upon any definite thing, good results can 
hardly be hoped for in the way of psychic development! 
Many psychics can obtain good results for individual 
sitters, but as soon as they make a public appearance 
they fail more or less completely. We can hardly doubt 
that the reason for this is their apprehension for the 
results, fear that they will not succeed, etc. This pre- 
vents all free communication : it shuts the doors of the 
soul, as it were, against any outside influences. In order 
to be receptive and sensitive, we must have a free uiind, 
and give ourselves up wholly to those forces and vibra- 
tions which play upon us. If you watch yourself you 
will find that your body tends to contract all over as 
soon as you think certain thoughts or experience certain 
emotions, such as jealousy, hatred, envy, etc. On the 
other hand, as soon as you send out thoughts of friend- 



I 



HEALTH OP MEDIUMS A>fD PSYCHICS 67 

ship, love, sympathy, etc., you find that your whole 
being expands and relaxes. If this is true of the muscles 
of the body, how much more true is it of the "muscles 
of the soul," if I may ao express it.' "The imagi- 
nation" it has been said "is the lungs of the spiritual 
life," and in order to have free play, they must be 
unrestricted, just as our physical lungs are. The essence 
of psychie development is this complete surrender and 
quiescence, and until this is insured, full development 
can hardly be expected. There is such a thing as "spirit- 
ual contraction." We have all heard of the man with 
the "ingrowing conscience." This means, simply, that 
this man is dwarfed, contracted and unsympathetic in 
his attitude to ail that he meets. "Gentleness and cheer- 
fulness," said Robert Louis Stevenson, "are the perfect 
duties"; and we cannot do better than advise the medium 
to follow this motto in his daily life. 

PSYCHIC CONTAGION 

These influences which are harmful in ourselves are 
harmful when experienced in others, and they are con- 
tagious to a remarkable degree. All experienced spirit- 
ualists know that a medium is liable to "take on" the 
conditions of a spirit or of another person, when in a 
sensitive state, and this is true of his mental and spiritual 
life as well as his physical health. We can acquire the 
other's irritable disposition, his sourness and lack of 
balance, for the time being, just as easily as we can 
acquire other symptoms; and unless this is recognized 
and the medium takes care to throw off these influences, 
they are liable to remain with him more or less and 
influence hira — just as we sometimes experience the after 
influence of a bad dream in the day-time. 



68 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWEES 



HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD DEVELOPING MEDIUM 

The practical conclusion to be drawn from all this 
is that it is very dangerous to the mental and moral 
health of a psychic to develop under the guidance of a 
medium who is mentally, morally, physically or spirit- 
ually ill — for these conditions will possibly sooner or 
later be ''taken on," and they are liable to influence 
the medium to his own detriment. Be most careful, 
therefore, in selecting the p^chic under whom you de- 
velop, for your own future progress and happiness will 
depend lai^sely upon that 



I 



CHAPTER VII 

SELF AND SOUL CULTUBE 

"Know thyself" was the mandate of the Delphic Oracle ! 
Before man can undertake to govern and control external 
forces, he must leam to control those within himself, for 
only by doing this can success be attained. 

Man utilizes his mind as he would a tool every day 
of his life. The better we understand our tools the 
better workmen we are. Henee he who would succeed 
must understand the workings of his own nature. 

THE COSMIC CURRENTS 

First of all we are told that there are Cosmic currents 
playing to and fro in the world, contradictory currents 
OP streams of thought into which we are liable to enter 
unconsciously, even against our will. Some of these 
currents are beneficial, others are harmful. Some na- 
tures are strong to stem the tide and achieve success 
against the greatest obstacles; others can extricate them- 
selves but partially, others do not do so at all. For this 
reason we have the successes and the failures in life. 
It depends partly upon outside influences, partly upon 
ourselves. The first we cannot control, except indirectly 
through ourselves. 

HOW TO HAKE A SUCCESS OP TOUR LIFE 

Here is the explanation of a great fallacy which many 
people make. They imagine that they can by their own 
will mould circumstances to suit themselves. This is 



70 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



only partly true. Let me explain. We must not tiini 
our power of mind upon others, we must turn it upon 
ourselves in such a way that it will make us stronger, 
more positive, more capable and more efficient; and as 
we develop in this manner success will come of itself. 
The way to control circumstances is to control the forces 
within yourself, to make a greater man of yourself, and 
as you become greater and more competent, you will 
naturally gravitate into better circumstances. We 
should remember that "like attracts like." For, as 
Dr. Larson says "those people who fail and who continue 
to fail all along the line, fail because the power of their 
minds is either in a habitual negative state, or is al- 
wa3^ misdirected. If the power of mind is not working 
positively and constructively for a certain goal, you are 
not going to succeed. If your mind is not positive it is 
negative, and negative minds float with the stream. 
We must remember that we are in the midst of all kinds 
of circumstances, some of which are for us and some of 
which are against ua, and we will either have to make 
our own way, or drift, and if we drift we go wherever 
the stream goes. But most of the streams of human life 
are found to flow into the world of the ordinary and 
the inferior. Therefore if you drift you will drift with 
the inferior, and your goal will be failure." 

THE THREE LAWS OF SUCCESS 

In order to achieve mental and spiritual success (and 
the same rule applies also to worldly success) three 
rules must be observed which are of prime importance; 
The first is that you must have in your own mind a 
clear conception of what you want. If you have not 
any definite goal in view, you cannot expect to achieve 



SELF AND SOUL CULTURE 



71 



any great success, because you will be constantly wast- 
ing your energy in byways, without directing it all 
towards one certain point. The second is: You must 
make your thinking positive and not negative. This 
does not mean that you must grind your teeth, frown 
and try to dominate every one you meet. It means 
that you possesa a calm self-assurance and the inner 
conviction and certainty that you will succeed. Physi- 
cally this state of things may be felt in a full, firm 
sensation throughout the nervous system. The third 
rule is: All your thinking must be constructive, that is, 
built about the goal or object you have in mind. If 
you spend only a fraction of your energy of thought 
in any one direction, you cannot expect to progress 
very far in that line. The runner who tries at the same 
time to work out a mathematical problem in his head 
will not be first in the race! Constructive thinking 
means that you must consistently and continually think 
of and about what you wish to accomplish. 

The sooner you learn to do this the sooner will success 
be yours. Obstacles in life present great difficulties. 
Up to a certain point they may be looked upon as helps 
to character and progress and the more these are over- 
come the stronger will your character ultimately be. 
At the same time this may be overdone, and there is 
such a thing as "Kicking against the pricks." 

PLOWINO WITH THE TIDE 

If you are striving your best (and every man knows 
in his heart when he is doing his best) to accomplish 
a certain thing, and more and more difficulties seem 
to multiply the further you progress, you may, under 
certain conditions, assume that it is not meant for you 



72 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

at this particular time to do this particular thing, and 
you may shortly look back and see how you were pre- 
vented from undertaking something that might have 
proven disaBtrous. In this way it is possible to float 
with these "Currents" instead of stemming them to 
advantage. Mrs. Towne tells us that she, at one period 
of her life, could do nothing on account of her desire 
to rest and sleep. She determined that she would give 
this full play; she went to bed and stayed there for 
fourteen days and nights! At the end of that time 
she felt that, at last, she had had enough rest, and thence- 
forward work became a joy instead of a burden. It 
proved to be the turning-point in her life. 

ACTING FOB OUR ta/TIMATE GOOD 
There are, therefore, Cosmic Currents swaying to and 
fro, flowing back and forth throughout the Psychic Uni- 
verse, and the more we can "sense" or become receptive 
to these currents, the more will our life be guided and 
directed for us by an Intelligent Control, greater than 
our own. We all think that we know exactly what we 
want to do, and what is best for us. — yet this is not 
always the case! To a mind vaster and more inclusive 
than ours the very opposite of this may seem better 
for our ultimate good. For example, a dog has to have 
a tooth extracted. The painful operation of removing 
the tooth is all that the dog can see. To him it is all 
painful, nothing beneficial. To us, on the contrarj', who 
see not only what a dog sees, but more, it is clear that 
the dog will eventually be better for the removal of his 
tooth — though it is a painful experience. Applied to 
ourselves, it is most probably true that our painful ex- 
periences in life can be interpreted in a similar manner, 



1 



I 



SELF AND SOUL CULTURE 

and that many of them, could we see them in that light, 
are for our ultimate good. 

HOW TUVSS LAWS APPLY TO PSYCHIC DEVELOPMENT 

Now let US apply what we have learned to psychic 
development, and the cultivation of mediumistic gifts. 
We have found that there are magnetic and spiritual 
forces playing upon us from different directions here and 
there all over the world. Some of these are for our 
own good, others are not. We must learn to become 
sensitive to those currents which are beneficial to ub, 
and shut out those which are not. How are we to do 
thist 

In the 6rst place it is necessary for the student who 
really desires to obtain this guidance to make certain 
renunciations or sacrifices. He cannot be "in the 
world," and at the same time receive this spiritual 
perfection. One canno^t both eat one's cake and have 
it I So you must make up your mind just what you wish 
to do. Many mediums unfortunately do not develop 
along this line. The cultivation of the spiritual self 
is not. altogether the same, thing as the cultivation of 
the psychic self, — obtaining psychic phenomena. The 
one great reproach which has been made against many 
mediums and spiritualists (it must be admitted, with 
some justice), is that "spiritualists are everything but 
spiritual!" Doubtless- this is not true of spiritualists 
any more than the followers of any other religious faith. 
Human nature is weak, and we all fall from grace. But 
we are now only talking of those who sincerely desire 
personal spiritual enlightenment, and who are willing 
to make some sacrifices in order to obtain it. To those 
who are anxious to follow this path we would say that 




t 

3 



74 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



it is unwise to give too full directions thus early in your 
development. This is a question which will be discussed 
more fully in Chapter XLI. For the present a few 
practical points may be helpful both in your daily life 
and your psychic oufoldment. 

RULES TO FOLLOW 

1. As is so often insisted upon, the health must be 
maintained. If this is not done, you render yourself 
liable to nervous e3chaustion and, through this, to ob- 
session, 

2. Your clear common-sense and interest in the things 
of the world must, to a certain extent, be kept. Other- 
wise the judgment will become unbalanced. 

3. Cultivate sympathy, harmony, interest in your fel- 
low-beings. 

4. Cultivate your own sensitiveness along ordinary 
psychic lines, by various special exercises. When you 
obtain a certain number of psychic phenomena in this 
way, you will be far more receptive than you were before. 

5. Cultivate at all times what may be called a listening 
attitude of the soul. This is particularly important and 
practically valuable. When you are in doubt upon any 
question, retire to a quiet room and ask your own higher 
self what is the best thing for you to do. At first these 
replies will be very vague and indistinct, but as you 
progress in your development you will find that they 
will become clearer and clearer, and you will soon get 
definite and clearly formed replies in answer to this 
mental questioning. As soon as you have progressed 
thus far, you may be sure that you have begun to sense 
the "Cosmic Currents" which flow about you; and when 



SELF AND SOUL CULTURE 



75 



once yon have done this, it is, thenceforward, only a 
matter of personal development. This will be dealt with 
more folly in several of th« chapters which follow. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE CULTIVATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS 

There are two ways of regarding any particular fact ; 
the first is to observe it from without, the second is to 
experience it from within. If we look at an orange, 
we observe it from without, and we could never experi- 
ence it from within, unless we were the orange. The 
only things that can experience sensations from within in 
this way are minds. Each mind can inwardly experi- 
ence and see objectively its own sensations, and, so far 
as we know, it is the only thing in the world which can 
do so. All psychic experience is, therefore, inward or 
sensitive, and can never be felt by another person, but 
must be experienced by him in order that he should 
appreciate and understand the mental state you yourself 
are experiencing. 

It is the same with psychic phenomena. If any one 
experiences any phenomena of this character, he can 
never impart this knowledge to others, except in a very 
roundabout way, and for these others to understand the 
phenomena they themselves must experience them. It 
is for this reason that it is so difficult for psychics to 
express and explain to outsiders the character of the 
sensations and phenomena they are experiencing. 
Everything being so largely symbolic, and our language 
being so poor in this direction, it is often very difficult 
for them to explain precisely what they mean. 




CULTIVATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS 77 



DEVELOPING MEDIUMSHIP 

We do not know as yet exactly what mediumahip is. 
There ia much evidence to show that it is very often 
hereditary and runs through three or four generations, 
just like any other gift. With some, mediiimship ap- 
pears in childhood and seems to be a very part of their 
constitution. The majority, however, develop it later 
on in life, as the result of coming into contact with, 
mediums, or developing it within themselves by experi- 
ments. Some retain their mediumship throughout life, 
others experience it only for a few months, a few weeks, 
a few days, in some cases only a few seconds. 

In some cases mediumship is terminated suddenly, in 
other cases it is gradually lost through a period of years. 
One who has at any time experienced mediumship ean 
usually recall it by reason of its persistence no matter 
how long afterwards. 



CONTBOLUNO PHENOSTENA 

In Mediumship, or when obtaining psychic phenomena 
of any character, we are as yet experimenting, as it 
were, with forces and laws as yet largely unknown — 
just as the early scientists experimented with eleetrieity 
(indeed we do not yet know what electricity is). How- 
ever at the present day we can control it perfectly, and 
it is to be hoped that the time will come when medium- 
ship and all psychic phenomena can be controlled in 
a similar manner, even though we may never know 
the innermost essence of psychic power. If we could 
do that it would be, at any rate, on a "workable basis," 
so to speak. 



3 



78 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

HEDITIMISTIC EXEBCIBES 

All mediumistic eserciaes develop this power to some 
extent, but in different directions. The following are 
a few of the methods which may be pursued in cultivat- 
ing and developing the psychic self and the inner spirit- 
ual centre of our being, as distinct from purely psychical 
phenomena : 

As before said, it is essential that we should under- 
stand and eontrol ourselves before we endeavour to con- 
trol outside forces. 

Much may be learned through what is known as "in- 
trospection," that is the turning inward of the attention 
upon the inner self, instead of outward, upon the ex- 
ternal world. If you close your eyes and do this and 
try to find out the nature of your true inner being, 
you will probably experience a peculiar sensation. You 
"will find that, like Happiness, it continually eludes you, 
and that, when you think you have grasped your own 
Self, it is only a state of mind, which has since passed 
and is now only a memory ! 

Practice this introspection for a few minutes each day 
and before long you will be surprised at your develop- 
ment in this direction, for you will be enabled to come 
into far closer touch with yourself than formerly. The 
inner self will become illuminated, as it were. 

MASTERING THE SEL.P 

This practice will lead to the habit of escaping from 

our sense-perceptions, to which most of us are slaves. 
As you get away from these, and are enabled to with- 
draw more and more fully into your inner self, you will 
experience a sensation of reality and the ability to 



I 




CULTIVATION OP SPIRITUAL GIFTS 



perceive the truth of things in a maimer hitherto un- 
dreamed of. 

Truth exists; we do not perceive it for the simple 
reason that the veil of sense is between it and us. Lift 
this veil and you will perceive truth clearly, as in the 
light of day. 

This practice of acquiring greater mastery over self 
will also put you more closely in touch with the great 
magnetic power-currents of the universe, so that you 
will never feel exhausted or in need of nervous energy, 
— there being an unlimited supply of energy in this 
nniverae. All we have to do is to learn to tap it, — 
which we can do by these methods of psychic develop- 
ment, — and we can draw upon it in any quantity we 
choose. 

We will also be put in touch with higher conditiona, 

HOW SPIRIT UNITES US 
With increased spiritual developmeut and spiritual 
life, we will perceive that there is a universal brother- 
hood of mankind and that nothing is really separated 
from anything else; that we are not separated from 
our neighbour, but that we are united in the great uni- 
versal Infinite Intelligence which combines all. We may 
compare ourselves to trees, in this respect. Each tree 
is apparently, a separate being, whose leaves whisper to 
one another, and whose branches sometimes touch in 
the swaying of the evening breezes : but their roots are 
sunk deep into the ground and are often intertwined 
! with another, while the common earth unites them 
all. In a similar way, we are united in the spiritual 
universe, of which we form a part. Fundamentally, 
pBychically, we are united one with another. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



MEDITATION 



4 



Meditation may be considered one of the methods by 
means of which we awaken the inner self and frequently 
awaken our spiritual or astral senses, so as to cause them 
to function on another plane. 

At the same time, if this developing process is done 
properly, we build up walls of power about ourselves, 
■which others will find it impossible to break through, 
by mental or hypnotic influence, even should they de- 
sire to do so. We cover ourselves with a sphere of 
energy through which nothing can pass, against our will. 

THE POWER OP THODGHT 

All thoughts sent out by us into the universe have 
some definite purpose and have a certain effect, both upon 
ourselves and upon others. 

"Thoughts are things!" We can create a thought as 
surely as we can create a house or a chair, and, once 
created there is no telling where this thought may stop 
or how lasting its action may be. If these thoughts 
are good, helpful and useful, they often return to us 
like boomerangs, with the added happiness and power 
which they have accumulated from others of a similar 
character in their flight through space. On the contrary, 
evil thoughts come back to us in the same way, and it 
will be found that they always return to their sender, 
■with added power for evil or for good. See to it, there- 
fore, that you only send out thoughts of the highest and 
best. 

Some people — when they first realize this fact — are 
almost afraid at first to think at all, for fear of the 
effects their thoughts may have! But this is a great 



CULTIVATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS 81 

mistake. Expression is the first law of life. We mnst 
leam to express, EXPRESS/ The chief outward dif- 
ference between a living being and a corpse is that one 
can express itself and the other can not. Do not be 
afraid to express yourself fully and forcibly jh any 
direction. Even the bodily expression of our feelings 
and emotions is quite justified. There is nothing to be 
ashamed of in conviction or in passion. It is the abuse 
of these which is detrimental. 

THE USE OP THE WILL 

In a similar way the power of the will may be used 
for good or for evil, as the case may be, and it has a 
great power in both directions — as the history of Oc- 
cnltism has shown us. 

In the one case we have, as the result of the exercise 
of this power, various psychic phenomena, marvellous 
cures and all the varied accomplishments of this world. 
On the other hand, we have the phenomena of witch- 
craft, black magic, harmful absent treatment and crime. 

It all depends into which channel we direct the energy 
of our will. The soul must leam to find and experience 
itself fully before it can consider itself thoroughly alive 
and a fully developed entity. After this realization has 
been accomplished, then, and then only, should we di- 
rect our attention to cultivating and directing the latent 
energies which we possess, 

SELF-DEVKI>OPMENT ESSENTIAL. 

It is because of this fact that "Self and Soul Culture" 
is necessary, before psychic phenomena are cultivated 
to any great extent. We must learn to know ourselves, 
to preserve a just and careful balance of judgment, 



3 



82 YOUR PSTCmC POWERS 

sympathy, understanding and intuition* If we do not 
possess these qualities^ we shall never become mediums 
on the highest plane. On the eontrary, we may draw 
to oui8elTes» while developing mediumship, harmful or 
lying intelligenees» whieh we have attracted into our 
magnetic aura. 

So I cannot too strong advise and warn you, to 
practice these adf-devdoping exercises before cuhivating 
external psychic or mediumistic powers^ Mediumship 
f^pois the doors to infiuoice and powers over whidi we 
have little contrd, and we must be sure that, before 
the doors of the soul are swung badL, we must be pre- 
pared to receive whoever enters, by reason of our own 
srif-control and innor powns,— otherwise we may be 
unable to dose the doors, when we wish to»— or the door 
of reascMi mi^r become altogether unhinged! 

In giving these warnings I do nol wish to finghten 
the reader^ since there is no necessily to became alanmNL 
if caution be esceiciscd in this devek^NBent. Only I 
widh to fphanw the ncccssily for this eautioQ! 




CHAPTER IX 

PSYCHOMETRY 

What is Psychometry I Dr. J, Rhodes Buchanan says: 
"The word 'Psychometry,' coined in 1842 to express 
the character of a new scienee and art, i? the most 
pregnant and important word that has been added to 
the English language, coined from the Greek {psyche 
— 80ul and metron — measure). It literally signifies 
'Soul-Measuring,' In our modem use of the word, 
however, it means something a little different from this. 
A psychic who picks up an object and, in connection 
with it, gets certain psychic impressions, is said to 
'psychometrize' the object, and this process is known 
as psychometry." 

EXPEBIMBNT9 

The famous Professor Denton, a mineralogist, whose 
wife possessed remarkable powers in this direction, con- 
ducted a number of experiments some of which are 
described as follows: lie gave his wife a specimen 
from the carboniferous formation. Closing her eyes, 
she described swamps and trees with their tufted heads 
and scaly trunks, with the great frog-like animals that 
existed in that age. He got a specimen of the lava 
that flowed from tbo volcano in Hawaii in 1848. His 
sister, by its means, described a "boiling ocean," a 
cataract of golden lava that almost equalled Niagara 
in size. A small fragment of a Meteorite that fell at 
Painsville, Ohio, was given to his wife's mother, a sen- 



84 



YOUR PSYCniC POWERS 



sitive, who did not then believe in psychomctry. This is 
what she said: "I seem to be travelling away, away 
through nothing, right forward. I see what looks like 
stars and mist. I seem to be taken right up, the other 
specimens take me down." His wife independently gave 
a similar description, but saw it revolving and its tail 
of sparks. 

NOT DUE TO TELEPATHY 

Prof. Denton took steps to prove that this was not 
mind-reading, by wrapping the specimens in paper, 
shaking them np in a hat, and allowing the sensitive to 
pick out one and describe it, without any one knowing 
which one it was. Among them was a fragment of brick 
from ancient Rome, Antimony from Borneo, Silver from 
Mexico, Basalt from Fingal's Cave. Each place was 
described correctly by the sensitive in the most minute 
detail. 

These are but examples which could be multiplied, 
did space permit. Nearly every one possesses a certain 
amount of power in this direction, and it only needs 
cultivation to bring it to light. 

Before proceeding to the practical side of this ques- 
tion, a few words of explanation of the theory in- 
volved will doubtless be of interest to the student. 



THE EXPLANATION 

It has been said that every object possesses its own 
peculiar psychic influence, fluid or aura, which may be 
recognized by one sensitive enough to perceive it. Hu- 
man beings may transfer a certain amount of this 
"fluid" to objects, leaving them impressed with their 
influence. We see this in the case of "magnetic cures," 
and in some cases of "haunted houses." In fact, — 



PSTCHOMETKY 



85 



. we shall see in Chapter XXVIII, devoted to that sub- 
ject, — this is one of the theories which has been advanced 
to explain haunted houses. 

Objects which have been worn close to the skin, or 
which have been brought into contact for a long time 
with the magnetism of any particular person, seem to 
retain a large share of this aura, and such objects may 
readily be psychometrized — their aura may be read and 
interpreted according to the ability of the psychic. We 
often see demonstrations of this character given in 
public. Again (rance-mediums are very sensitive to 
influences of this character, and if we place an object 
which had belonged to some person who has recently 
passed over into the hands of a good trance-medium, 
he will frequently be enabled to get into contact with 
that person, through the magnetism of the article in 
question, and in that way information may be obtained 
which otherwise could not have been secured. 

HOW TO PRESERVE TIIE INFLUENCE 

Articles of this character often lose their properties — 
their "virtue" we might almost express it — by being 
left around or exposed to the handling of others: and 
for this reason it is best to keep such articles carefully 
wrapped-up in thin rubber cloth which may be procured 
from any drug store. In this way their properties are 
preserved. 

Just what this influence is. with which the articles 
become impregnated, we are unable to say. Probably 
it is a form of the vital force which animates the uni- 
verse. Tet, even supposing that this could flow into 
the object, and that Ihe psychic could "sense" it, we 
have yet to explain why it should be that this particular 



86 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

vital energy should be enabled to arouse withm the 
pHychie the flood of information he receives. 

"akasic records" 

Professor Draper has said: "A shadow never falls 
upon a wail without leaving thereon a permanent trace 
— a trace made visible by resorting to proper processes. 
On the walla of private apartments, where we think the 
eye of intrusion is altogether shut out, and our retire- 
ment can never be profaned, there exist the records of 
our acts, silhouettes of whatever we have done. It ia 
a crushing thought to whoever baa committed secret 
crime, — that the picture of his deed and the very echo 
of his words may be seen and heard countless years 
after he has gone the way of all flesh !" 

There are certain analogies for this in the physical 
world. If sunlight falls upon a sheet of paper and we 
place upon it a key, the outline of this key will be marked 
upon the paper and may be recovered years later by 
suitable means. 

If "thoughts are things," they doubtlefis impress our 
surroundings in much the same way: and the objects 
which we psychometrize are influenced by means of our 
thoughts, and the human aura or fluid, so that they 
retain them within it, and may be "read-back" by the 
seuffltive. 

THE INTERPRETATION OP IMPRESSIONS RECEIVED 

In all psychometry we must remember that the in- 
terpretation of the impressions received is largely sym- 
bolic, — just as the printed word of a book is symbolic 
of the thought of the author, lying behind it. — So, 
impressions stored within objects and "sensed" by the 



PSYCHOMETRY 



87 



psychic, must also be symbolic, and must be suitably 
interpreted by the psychometrist. Thus, when he places 
a geological specimen on his forehead and describes an 
"antediluvian monster," roaring and walking about, no 
one but a very shallow individual would imagine for a 
moment that the psychometrist was actually seeing the 
original ! He simply got an impression of that era 
of the world's history, and symbolized it subconsciously 
in the form of this roaring monster. 

In obtaining impressions from an object, we must en- 
deavour to become as receptive and sensitive as possible, 
A few preliminary exercises will enable you to do this 
to much better advantage than you otherwise would 
be enabled to. 



EXEKCISES FOB DEVELOPING SENSITIVENESS 

1. Cultivate the sensitiveness of your finger-tips. You 
may do this effectively by placing in a bowl water of 
the same temperature as the body. Now, close your eyes 
and place your finger-tips just above the surface of the 
water. "Without looking, very gradually lower the 
finger-tips until they come into contact with the water. 
See whether you can tell when this is the case. You 
will be surprised to discover that, at first, you are quite 
unable to tell when you have touched the water ! 

2. Another good exercise is to take a pair of com- 
passes and, opening them a quarter of an inch or so, 
touch the finger-tips with the two sharp points, the 
eyes being closed. See if you can tell how far apart 
these points are, — before looking at the compasses. In 
this way your fingers will acquire a sensitiveness of 
their own. 

3. Leam to act upon first impressions. Do not hesi- 



88 YOUR PSTCHIC POWEES 

tate or be afraid to express exactly how you feel and the 
impression that comes to you, — no matter how "ridicu- 
lous" it may be. There is a useful saying which may 
help you in this respect. It is; "The first thought is 
the spirit's, the second is your own." So learn to act 
on first impressions, and put into execution immediately 
anything which comes to you. 

4. Analyse your own sensations and emotions as best 
you can, after the first impression has been received, 
and see what you feel or experience within yourself. 
Then express this in words to the best of your ability. 
These emotions often express, in that form, facts which 
could not well be expressed in any other way, though 
they apparently have no connection with the object. 

For esaraple: If you are feeling a watch, and you 
get in connection with that watch the feeling of de- 
pression and pain in the throat, state this fully, since 
the person who owned the watch may have strangled 
himself in a fit of melancholy. In this way the emotions 
you perceive are fully in accord with the sensations which 
yon receive from the object, 

ITS PRACTICAL VALUE IN D-ULT LIFE 
The practice of psychometry will often enable you 
to tell the characteristics of another living person, and 
by this means you will be enabled to tell whether or 
not you will like such a person, — because you may be 
attracted or repelled by the psychic impressions you re- 
ceive in connection with the object such a person has 
been wearing. In practical life information of this 
character is. at times, very useful. 
In addition to all this, the cultivation of psychometry 



d 



PSYCHOMETBY 



89 



is often useful in paving the way for the cultivation 
of other psychic phenomena, and will prove a useful 
Introduction to them. 



CHAPTER. X 
THE HUMAN AURA 



d 



Sdrbodndinq every living body (and some non-living 
materials) there is a halo or "aura," which may be 
seen, under certain exceptional conditions. Clairvoy- 
ants have always contended that they could see this 
aura, surrounding human beings, but they were laughed 
at for their pains by the majority of scientists, who 
continued to disbelieve in its existence. About the 
middle of the 19th century. Baron von Reichenbach 
published a book on the aura, paying particular atten- 
tion to the emanations which bis sensitives had seen 
coming from crystals and the poles of horseshoe magnets. 
It is now known that both magnets and crystals give off 
a, very noticeable aura, and this may be seen by any one, 
possessing even moderate psychic development, if they 
observe these objects when placed in a darkened room. 

HOW STUDIED BY THE Am OP CHEMICAI, SCREENS 

Needless to say all this was disbelieved at the time, 
and it was not until 1911 that the existence of the aura 
was proved scientifically by means of mechanical and 
chemical means. Dr. Kilner, the electrician of St. 
Thomas' Hospital, London, then showed that it is pos- 
sible tor any one to see the aura, issuing from a living 
human being, by means of especially prepared glass 
slides, containing a chemical, named "Dieyanin, "^ 
The subject of the experiment is placed against a white 
or black cloth background, in a nearly darkened room, 
and must be at least partially nude, as the aura cannot 
be seen through the clothing. The investigator then 
iDicyanin ib & coal-tar product or dye. 



d 



THE HITMAN AURA 



91 



looks through one of the chemical screens at the day- 
light: then, closing his eyes, pulls down the blind, so as 
to make the room nearly dark. In this light the figure 
of the model can be seen only faintly, and if the subject 
is looked at through the glass screen, the aura may be 
seen by nearly any one, possessing good eyesight. In 
this case the investigator does not have to be a clairvoy- 
ant, since the eyes are rendered susceptible to certain ar- 
tificial light waves by means of the chemical screens. 
Usually our eyes cannot perceive these waves. 

In this way the sceptical world has been convinced 
of the reality of the human aura, and it is now considered 
a proved scientific fact. 

THE THEEE AUEAS THUS DISCLOSED 

The human aura or atmosphere consists of a number 
of layers or strata one beyond the other, extending out 
into space. By means of Dr. Kllner's chemical screens 
three of these divisions may be clearly perceived. 

First, what is called the "etheric double." This is 
seen like a dark line, slightly greyish in colour, which 
extends over the whole surface of the body, conforming 
exactly to its shape. Doubtless this is one manifesta- 
tion of the double or etheric body. 

Beyond this extends the "inner aura," which is usu- 
ally two or three inches broad. It conforms to the con- 
tour of the body throughout and is more or less coloured 
by the health of the individual and by the mental or 
emotional states, which may be present at that time. 

Beyond this again is the "outer aura," beginning 
where the inner aura ceases, and extending from three 
to six inches, as a rule, before it becomes invisible. It 
extends slightly further in the case of women than it 



92 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

does in men. This aura is very variable, and is greatly 
influenced by all the mental and psychic conditions of 
the x>crson to whom it belongs. Its colours vary also 
very greatly, but this cannot as a rule be seen through 
the screens because they themselves are either dark 
red or blue. It takes a trained clairvoyant to see all 
the subtle gradations and variations of colour in the 
aura. 

HOW TO TRAIN TOUR PSTCHIC SIGHT 

The best way to train yourself to see auras of this 
character is, perhaps, the following: 

1. In a darkened room study the aspect of a good 
horseshoe-magnet, either suspended in the air by a silk 
thread or placed on a support, with poles up, and vaiy 
the position of the observation until a faint luminosity is 
observed at the poles and along the edges of the magnet. 

2. In the light repeat the same process, trying to make 
out these lines and the extensions and limitations of 
the aura. 

It must be understood that this vision can be obtained 
artificially only through the action of the will, and by a 
proper focusing of the eyes, — ^the perception of auras 
requiring a ver>* different focus from ordinary sight, 
and this focusing is very often. — nearly always in fact 
^■different in each of the two eyes. 

The attempted focusing of the sight must, therefore, 
be made with each eye separately and then with both 
combined. It may happ>en that one eye only can be 
focused for this special vision, or when both are found 
available, if both focuses are not identical, the active use 
of both eyes at one time may destroy the psychic sight 
of the sensitive e\-e. 



THE HUMAN AURA 



THE AURA IN DAVLIOHT i 



It is important to master the faculty of seeing the 
magnetic aura in the daylight, because more complete 
details can thus be eventually obtained than in the dark, 
and this is the only way to learn how to perceive the 
human aura. 

For the purpose of trying one's vision in broad day- 
light, take a good horseshoe magnet and hold it per- 
pendicularly in front of you, — either against the back- 
ground of an open outside light, such as can be obtained 
from looking out from the inside of a room through an 
open window, or against a near inside background, — for 
instance a white or dark wall, according to the nature 
of the light. Then look at the edge of the magnet with 
one eye only and gradually approach it or slide it away 
from you, until you obtain the best focus of vision. 
Look steadily along the same point, until it dawns on 
you that a kind of a quivering, narrow band of mist 
or vapour is flowing from the metal and prevents your 
sight from freely perceiving the object back of it, pro- 
ducing, in fact, a sort of bending of your visual rays. 
As soon as you realize the presence on the edge of the 
magnet, of this current of vaporous mist, — which may be 
compared to the appearance of the heated air which 
arises in summertime from hot fields, — the first psychic 
visual victory has been obtained, and the perception of 
the other phenomena connected with the aura will only 
need time, perseverance and practice: and, once the 
magnet is conquered, one may expect to speedily obtain 
the sight of the beautiful and intricate currenta on the 
human body. 



■ human body. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWEKS 



THE STBUCTUEE OF THE AURA 
After the aura has been perceived, and its general 
layers distinguished, the student must turn hia attention 
to its structure and colour variations. The question 
of colour will be treated in the nest chapter, which is 
devoted entirely to that subject. 

As to the structure or composition of the aurai If 
this be studied carefully, it will be found that it is 
composed in a great variety of different ways, according 
to the object or person emitting it. Thus, the aura of 
flowers is very different to that of magnets or human 
beings. 

THE AURA OF FLOWERS 

It is a very interesting study to try and perceive, 
psychically, the composition of the aura of various 
flowers. For instance, that of the violet is about one- 
eighth of an inch in thickness, and composed first of a 
bright light, then a line of dark blue, shading away 
into a very light blue, all these following the contour of 
the edge of the leaf. Above these lines is a scalloped 
or semi-linear string or border of two rows of little 
purplish-red figures, diamond shaped, very regularly 
distributed, so as to form two sets of fourteen little dia- 
monds over the space of each small lobe of -the leaf. 
Then, above these, a wave of dark blue mist in crescent 
form, shading off into light blue. 

This is only a sample reading of one flower. Each 
flower has its own particular aura {some of them being 
very complex) ; but it will serve to show the student how 
interesting a study this can be made. The study of the 
aura of plants alone, carefully undertaken, would occupy 
considerable time. 



4 



THE HUMAN AURA 



THE HUMAN AURA AND HOW TO STUDY IT 

After you have studied the auras of magnets and 
plants in this way, you should turn your attention to 
the auras of living, human beings. 

Children may easily be studied, and their auras are 
exceedingly interesting. 

Developed clairvoyants are enabled to see several dif- 
ferent auras,— each of them being composed of a number 
of sub -divisions, and each sub-division having a different 
structure and colour. 

It is a good plan to begin the study of the aura by the 
aid of the chemical screens, before mentioned, in semi 
darkness: and then to practise viewing the aura without 
the screens, and, as the eyes gain sensitiveness, to admit 
more and more light, until it can be clearly seen in the 
daylight. 

In this way your psychic sight will be gradually and 
naturally developed. 



CHAPTER XI 
COLOUR AND ITS INTERPRETATION' 



I 



In the last chapter we learned that thfre is a paychJe 
atmosphere or "aura," surrounding each animate ob- 
ject, and particularly human heings, and that both the 
structure and the colour of this varies greatly. We must 
now inquire first into the nature of these colourings, and' 
secondly try to solve the question ' ' what do they mean V ' ' 
How are we to interpret these colours, realizing that 
they are but sjinbols of something which they merely 
express? The colour of every individual is doubtless 
somewhat different, and with the same individual it 
differs at various times, according to his state of health, 
the mental and psychical changes, etc. The majority 
of highly-developed clairvoyants agree, however, with 
C. W. Leadbeater, that the following colours may be 
distinguished, and that they signify the existing physi- 
cal, mental and spiritual conditions, as follows : 

THE MEANING OP THE VARIOUS COUIUKS 

Black: indicates hatred and malice; anger and hate 
thought-forms are like heavy smoke. Red: deep red 
flashes on black ground show anger : lurid red indicates 
sensuality. Brown : dull brown-red shows avarice ; dull, 
hard brown-grey selfishness; Greenish Brown: with 
red or scarlet flashes, denotes jealousy. Grey: heavy- 
leaden shows deep depression ; livid grey shows fear. 
Crimson : indicates love. Oeanoe : pride or ambition. 
Yellow: shows intellectuality; duller tints show it is 
D6 




COLOUR AND ITS INTERPRETATION 97 

used for selfish purposes. Green: deep blue green 
shows good qualities, deep sympathy, while grey-green 
shows deceit and cunning. Bluet dark, indicates re- 
ligious feeling; light blue shows devotion to a noble 
spiritual ideal. White or near white, shows high spirit- 
uality. Dull Brown and blue show selfish religious 
feeling; dull yellow, low type intellect; Apricot shows 
pride ; Brick Red indicates selfish aiFection and avarice. 
LiOHT and Bbioht Red show pure aflfection. Qbeyish- 
Green, with reddish tinge, shows deceit. The health 
aura is clearly visible to the clairvoyant as a mass of 
faintly luminous violet grey mist, interpenetrating the 
denser part of the physical body and extending very 
slightly beyond. 

"It is easy to understand how almost infinite may 
be the combiuatious and modifications of all these hues, 
BO that the most delicate gradation of character, or 
the most evanescent of mingled feelings may be expressed 
with the greatest accuracy. Many of the colours are 
unknown to our physical faculties, so that it is impos- 
sible to picture them with psychic hues." 

When a clairvoyant sees these colours in the aura or 
surroundings of an individual, therefore, he may feel 
that the characteristics indicated are present; and the 
same thing is true when they are seen in the "surround- 
ings" of a returning spirit. 

THE SEVEN AURAS SURHOUNDINO MAN 

When the advanced student carefully studies the hu- 
man aura, he will find that there are a number of 
straight, white, very fine lines emanating from the body, 
and particularly the head, which resemble rays of white 
light. These are magnetic rays which do not deal 



k 




98 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



directly with the psychical condition of the subjeot. 

The innermost aura will be found to consist of five 
different coloured bands. The first will be pure white, 
the second light blue, the third darker blue, the fourth 
lemon yellow, the fifth dark red. 

The second layer of the aura will be found to be 
bluish violet, merging into rose. Those two inter-pene- 
trate one another, forming very beautiful combinations. 

The third layer consists of three cloudy zones, the 
first pink, the second violet, and the third orange. 

The fourth layer consists of green, cloud-like waves, 
tinged with yellow, resembling the golden edges of clouds, 
behind which the sun is shining. 

The fifth will be seen to be slate or indigo in colour, 
with silver edges. 

The sixth will consist of a beautiful light blue, with a 
whitish golden fringe. 

The seventh or outermost aura will be seen to be a 
greyish mist, of a light violet tint. 

The outer aura completes the auric emanation of man, 
and is the outer shell, as it were, constituting the so- 
called "auric egg," surrounding every human being, — 
of which more will be said later. 



CHANGES IN THE COLOURS 

"When a golden yellow light is seen about the head, 
it may be assumed that such an individual has great 
intellectuality, combined with spirituality ; and in some 
eases it has been said that this contains a cloud of 
"gold dust," each speck revolving spirally on itself. 

These colours of the various auras are not unchang- 
ing, as before said, so that the student must not expect 
to see them exactly as described. They are greatly 




COLOUR AND ITS INTERPRETATION 99 

modified by the mental and psychics! condition of the 
subject; and the thoughts and emotions which the latter 
may be experiencing at the time of observation will also 
uSect the aura. 

THE COLOURS OF THOUGUTS 

Thus fear gives rise to circles of bright rings, spread 
out in the form of a cone, of varying shades of grey, 
pink and purple. 

A beautiful devotional thought may be expressed in 
the form of a star of bluish mist, tinged with yellow. 

Pity may be seen as a reddish violet cloud, from which 
issue pointed cones of a brighter pink. 

Deception will give rise to a steel-blue mist, tinged 
with pink and taking the shape of any regular spiral. 

Fear may give rise to balls of grey, pink and yellow 
mist; while fear combined with anger will give forth 
a blackish grey mist, from which red electrical fiashes 
appear to issue. 

THE "auric ego" 

These colours extend over the whole of the auric egg, 
and may be seen by the clairvoyant to be influencing 
it throughout. 

This auric egg which is formed round an individual 
by the atmoepbere or aura, emanating from him, extends 
both above Euid below his body, as well as sideways, and 
is from nine to ten feet in height, and five feet in diame- 
ter. If the colours of this auric egg be examined by 
a clairvoyant, characteristics of the individual may be 
clearly defined after the necessary practice and de- 
velopment, and the general character of the subject may 
in thia way be discovered and interpreted. 



k 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



THE COLOURS OF VARIOUS INDIVIDUALS 



4 



Of course, it is necessary to make a long study of the 
aura and to attain a good deal of psychic development 
before all the details contained in this chapter can be 
discovered by the student in actual practice. Assum- 
ing, however, that you have progressed sufficiently in 
your studies to be enabled to see the aura of any in- 
dividual, you may proceed to examine the whole auric 
egg, with its varied colours. If you do this, you will 
find them to be about as follows : 

A highly developed individual will have a haze of 
golden light, issuing from the head and extending almost 
to the top of the egg. Above this will be a faint purplish 
light. On either side of this golden aura, and issuing 
outwards and upwards from the shoulders, will be a 
bluish light, which merges into pink, as it descends to 
the breast. From that point to the thighs a pinkish 
light may be seen, — light in some cases, darkish- red 
in others. About the knees this pink shades off into a 
delicate green, and this green covers the feet and extends 
downward almost to the lower margin of the auric egg, 
where it becomes a darkish blue. 

With less highly-developed individuals these colours 
will varj-, according to the tables above given. In some 
cases the auric egg will be composed almost entirely of 
greys, greens and browns ! 

THE PRIMART COLOURS AND THEIR HEANINQS 

In general it may be said that yellow and any bright 
clear colours, when seen in the aura of an individual, 
denote strong vitality and active intellectuality. Lilac, 
blue and violet have to do with spiritual characteristica. 



^ 



COLOUR AND ITS INTERPRETATION 101 

They are associated with simple, unselfish natures, and 
with those having spiritual aspirations. 

Red is directly connected with passions, and particu- 
larly anger. 

Blue is associated with religious feeling, though if 
too muddy it denotes selfishness. 

The brighter and clearer the colours the better, and 
they should be as clear-cut as possible. 

COLOURS SHOWN BY SPIRITS OR SEEN CLAmVOTANTLY 

These colours are not always associated with the hu- 
man aura or with any human form. They are often 
seen by psychics who arc developing themselves as cloud- 
like masses or shapes, which form more or less distinctly 
in front of them, and appear to take the outline of 
flowers, flashes, etc. Colours are occasionally seen in 
dreams, but the dream-images of most people are colour- 
less, or only light grey, tike a shadow. They are in fact, 
"such stuff as dreams are made of." 

In general : these colours may be interpreted accord- 
ing to the laws given above, but the precise interpreta- 
tion of these symbolic messages is a more difficult ques- 
tion to settle. A spirit, who may be trying to com- 
municate and to give a certain message to a medium, may 
apply this same method of colour symbolism to convey 
his meaning, but this is often confusing to the psychic 
and difficult to interpret. We shall come to this (jues- 
tion, however, in the nest chapter, which is devoted to 
' ' Symbolism. ' ' 



CHAPtBR XII 



SYMBOLISM 



Symbolism is one of the most important and at the same 
time one of the least understood subjects in the whole 
realm of psychics and spiritualism. A proper under- 
standing of what it means, and the adequate interpre- 
tation of symbols, as presented to the psychic, would 
prove of great value to every student, and to all those 
who are undertaking their own psychic development. 

WHAT SYMBOLISM MEANS 

First of all, it is necessary that you should understand 
exactly what symbolism means. A "symbol" is a sign 
for something else which it expresses in a more or less 
partial and incomplete manner. Usually, a symbol is 
a sign which appeals to one of the five senses, but de- 
notes not a sensual thing, but the thought lying behind 
it. Thus the printed word on the page is the symbol 
of the author's thought, expressed in that word. The 
poem is the expression of the poet's mind and spirit, 
as set forth in the words and metre of the poem, etc. 
Thus, symbols are always only partial and incomplete 
and represent but a small fraction of the thing they 
stand for, and we should always be in error if we tried 
to reconstruct the whole of the thing symbolized from 
what we perceive, by means of our senses. 

Before we proceed to the subject of ajTnhoHsm as 
studied in psychics and in the phenomena of spiritualism. 



one other point should be explained : We never see &a 

object in the physical world as it really is ! 

STMBOLIZED OBJECTS 

We only perceive or realize, through our five aenses, 

various aspects or qualities of the object. Thus, if yon 
are looking at an orange, your sense of sight gives you 
the impression of a reddish-yellow sphere, rather irregu- 
lar on its surface. Your sense of touch tells you that 
this thing is round, that it is somewhat rough and cool. 
Tour sense of smell supplies you with the information 
that it has a pleasant odour unlike anything else, which 
is confirmed by your taste. In this particular inBtance 
the sense of hearing does not enter into the questiou, 
as it would in many other instances. 

Now all these things whieli appeal to our seases — 
colour, odour, texture, etc. — are "qualities" of the 
orange, and not the orange itself. The orange is always 
something different from all of these, above and beyond 
them, and is more inclusive than any of these qualities 
and symbols. 

Thus, suppose you took away one of those symbols,— 
its colour, — the orange would immediately become in- 
visible to you ; yet it would continue to eiist, though we 
could never know of its existence. 

This shows us clearly that symbols are very inadequate 
and imperfect representations of a vaster "something" 
lying behind them, and they represent only a small 
fraction of the totality of the thing as it really exists. 



STMBOLISM OP SPIKIT 



I As applied to the spirit of man, we must begin by 
admitting the rather startling fact that no man has ever 



3 



104 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



Been it, — no man has ever Been another! All he has 
ever seeu are the outward features, the form, the facial 
expressions of the other; and when our spirits hold 
commiinieatioD with one another in this world, they do 
so by written symbols, by motions of the hands or head, 
or by means of air-waves, passing from the throat of 
one to the ear of the other — all but expressions or 
symbols, which are interpreted by us according to a 
certain pre-arranged code. 

If we did not have this pre-arranged code, it would 
be impossible for two intelligent beings to converse one 
with another — as may readily be seen when a Chinaman 
and an American meet for the first time, neither of 
them speaking the language of the other. They try 
as best they can to make each other understand what 
they are thinking about, what thoughts are in their 
minds, but they succeed very imperfectly, or not at 
all ! The symbols employed are too inadequate to express 
their thoughts. 

SYHBOUSM IN SPIRIT-COMMUNICATION 
Now, all these difficulties we encounter when a spirit 
endeavours to communicate with us through a medium, 
or directly. It can express itself, as a rule, only very 
imperfectly (as will be explained in a later chapter), 
and must resort largely to symbols to convey its mean- 
ing. Hence we should be very mistaken if we were to 
interpret this symbolism literally, or to assume that it 
represented the whole of the subject-matter which the 
spirit desired to convey. 

As I said in my book "The Problems of Psychical Re- 
search"! "Our dreams, as we know, are largely sym- 
bolic — the work of Freud and others having proved this 



^B beyont 



SYMBOLISM 105 



beyoad all doubt. It is highly probable that the rav- 
ings of delirium are also of this nature, though no one, 
so far as I know, has yet devoted to their study the at- 
tention they deservp. Certainly it is true in medium- 
istic phenomena, for in trance conditions a large number 
of the messages, tests and visions seen, are of this nature 
and character— the symbolism being often so elaborate 
that the original thought is not perceived. Why this 
symbolism? The probable answer to this question is, 
that the message cannot be given directly, and that this 
symbolic method of presentation must be resorted to, 
in order to get the message "through" at all. There 
is good evidence to show that a pictorial method is 
resorted to very largely by the spirits— mediums seeing 
what they describe, very often, when the more direct 
auditory method is not resorted to. The spirit presents 
somehow to the mind of the medium a picture, which is 
described and often interpreted by the medium. Often 
this interpretation is quite erroneous, resembling a de- 
fective analysis of a dream. Because of this, the mes- 
sage is not recognized, yet the source of the message 
may have been perfectly veridical (truth-telling). 

exampijes op stubolisu 
"Let me illustrate this more fully. Suppose you de- 
sire to tell a Chinaman, who speaks not a word of Eng- 
lish, to fetch a certain object from the nest room. It 
would be useless for you to say the word 'watch,' be- 
cause he would not know what the word meant. Prob- 
ably you would tap your waistcoat pocket, pretend to 
take out a watch, wind it, look at the hands, etc., in your 
endeavour to convey to him your meaning. If this were 
not recognized, for any reason, you would have the 



106 TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

utmost diffimJty in eonveyisg your meaiiiDg to him, 
and eqn&l difScalty in telling him to fetch the watch 
from the next room. 

"Now, supposing these antics, or somevbat similar 
ones, were resorted to by a spirit in his attempt to otrnvcy 
the word 'watch* — perhaps to remind the stter of a 
partiealar watch be used to wear. The spirit might well 
proceed as follow?: 'He taps his stomach and looks 
at a spot over tua left side. He seems to wish to eonwy 
the impression that he suffered mnch from bowel tioable, 
perhaps a cancer on the left side. Yes, he seems to be 
taking something away from his body; evidently they 
removed some growth, and he wishes to eonrey the idea 
that something was taken from him. Now fae is exam- 
ining bis h&ndj he is looking intently: now be is doing 
something with his fingers. I can't see what it is, a 
little morement. Was he connected with machinery in 
lifeT Now, he is pointing to the door, etc' " 

THE DiTEXPSETATION OP STMBOL6 

Sadi an interpretatioa of the facts, it will be observed, 
while describing his actions, is wholly misleading as to 
its interpretation; the symbolism has been wholly mis- 
ctmstmed; and, ioasmach as the snbjeet probably aerer 
died of cancer, bad no bowel troable, underwent no 
operation, and was never connected with maduneiy, it 
is highly probable that the message would be put down 
wiudly to the medium s subconscious imagination, or even 
to guanng or eonscK)iis fraud! Yet, it will be ob- 
•erwd, the nkeseage was in its inception wholly veridical 
the f»ah lying in the symbolism, minnterpreted by the 
medium. 

There is evidaiee to akow AaS oAer forms of 



by the ■ 



SYMBOLISM 

bolism are adopted also, — applying to the auditory ae 
well as to the visual presentation of images. It is well 
known that names are very difficult to obtain by me- 
diums, and this is probably due to the fact that names 
are not pictures, or visual symbols, and in themselves 
mean nothing, as a rule. They are merely a combina- 
tion of letters, having a certain sound. 

THE FORMS OF SYMBOLISM 

It is generally easier for the spirit to impress a par- 
tially developed psychic by means of a picture than in 
any other way, and for this reason names are difficult 
to get. Still, in many cases, names are obtained by 
a picture shown. Thus, the name "Merrifield" was 
in one case given to the psychic as a picture of a num- 
ber of children, happily playing in a green field. 

Among other forms of symbolism are the following: 
A large key may be shown to the psychic. This may 
not mean a key at all, but a symbol of success, — the 
key being the means by which the door of prosperity 
is opened. 

Colours are frequently shown and nearly all eolourg 
are symbolic of something or other, and have their defi- 
nite meaning, as we saw in the last chapter. Strange, 
weird and horrible figures do not necessarily mean any- 
thing bad or anything evil; they may be symbolic of 
something entirely different, and this is frequently seen 
in dreams which are composed almost entirely of sym- 
bols throughout. 

Most psychics, when they are developing, see peculiar 
specks, clouds and forms shaping themselves before them 
in space. They are naturally at a loss to interpret and 
explain these images. While there is much latitude 



108 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



ot interpretation, always, in symbolism, the following 
simple suggestions based on traditional teachings, may 
be found helpful. 

CLOUDS AND LIGHTS 

Clouds, if white, may be interpreted as signifying 
happiness and prosperity, either to the payehio, or to 
one near and dear to them. 

If these seem to recede rapidly, and fade away in the 
distance, a journey is often indicated. If the clouds 
appear to be advancing toward you, it indicates that 
news will shortly reach you, good, — if the clouds are 
white, bad, if they are dark. If red and lurid, ill- 
fortune is upon your horizon, for which you must be 
on constant guard. Black clouds symbolize troubles 
of the heart. 

Tiny moving speeds of light, if they truly result from 
psychic development — are said to indicate that you are 
progressing favourably in your psychic sensitiveness. If 
these specks are dark, however, evil or harmful influences 
may be about you — for which you must be on a constant 
look-out. A "light within a light" is said to symbolize 
the presence of some "spirit," desirous of communicat- 
ing. Should such a sign appear to you, try at once to 
enter into commimication with the spirit-intelligence by 
asking questions and note whether the light you see en- 
deavours to reply to you by means of some simple code. 
Reptiles, and other unpleasant signs, usually sym- 
bolize the hidden fears of the psychic ; they are symbol- 
ized in this way — "externalizing" the subconscious fear- 
thought of the subject. Root out your hidden fear and 
apprehension; assert your mastery and fearlessness and 
the unpleasant sign will always disappear. 



SYMBOLISM 



THE SUBCONSCIOUS AND STUBOLISH 

The subconscious miud haa the faculty of describing 
in symbolic form thoughts, impressions or influences 
■which come to it, either through the senses, or more 
directly by telepathic or clairvoyant visions or mes- 
sages, which are said to be given through it by the 
"spirits." The "spirit" may convey a certain message 
to the subconscious mind of the psychic, and the mes- 
sage may be "externalized" or presented to the ordinary 
conscious mind in symbolic form, representing, appar- 
ently, something entirely different from the original 
message. 

It is in the interpretation of these sj-mbols that much 
of the true art of mediumship and psychic development 
will be found to lie — the better the medium the more 
expert in the interpretation of these sjTnbols, 

At present no general rule can be laid down aa to 
the interpretation of the symbols employed, since these 
will differ very largely in every ease, each medium hav- 
ing his own method of interpretation, and his own form 
of symbolism. 

You must learn for yourself, by repeated experience, 
what the various symbols mean to you, and thus form 
a "code" or method of interpretation which you can 
always follow throughout your future development, A 
close study of symbolism will yield you very important, 
practical results, as well as being of great interest in 



.CHAPTER XIII 



TELEPATHY 



Telepathy, miDd-reading, thought-reading, tboiight- 
tranaference, are all terms meaning very much the same 
thing, — namely, the ability to impress the mind of an- 
other person with a definite thought or thoughts, with- 
out traveling through the usual avenues of sense. The 
word "telepathy" was coined by Mr. F. W. H. Myers in 
1882, and is derived from two Greek words: {Tele — at 
a distance, and Pathos — feeling) and means literally 
"sensing at a distance." From this it has come to 
mean "thought-reading" in general, as we now under- 
Btand it. 

HOW TELEPATHY OPERATES 

How telepathy takes place we cannot as yet say witli 
certainty. Some scientific men, such as Sir WiUiam 
Crookes, are inclined to believe that vibrations in the 
ether travel from brain to brain, very much like the mes- 
sages in wireless telegraphy. Others, on the contrary, 
contend that this explanation is insuiScient, and that 
we have no proof that such brain-waves exist. As Mr. 
Myers expressed it: "Life has the power of manifest- 
ing itself to life," and this is as far as we can go as 
yet, by way of scientific explanation of the facts. 

It is almost certainly true that telepathy takes place 
not between the conscious minds of two individuals, but 
by way of the subconscious, that vast field which we 
described in Chapter IV (The Subconscious), so that if a 
i is sent from one conscious mind to another, 



TELEPATHY 111 

it would travel in rather a round-about fashion as fol- 
lows: From the conscious to the subconscious mind 
of A; from that to the subconscious mind of B, and 
from the subconscious mind to the conscious mind of 
B. In B, the process by which it was conveyed from 
the subconscious to the ordinary mind would be that 
of "eKtemalization, " so frequently seen in dreams, crys- 
tal-gazing and other phenomena. 

This fully explains to us why it is that we frequently 
receive telepathic messages at the moment we are falling 
to sleep, — or at least appear to do so. We may have 
received the message an hour or two before this, but 
its externalization was impossible until the ordinary 
consciousness ceased to be so active with the affairs of 
the day ; and then the subconscious mind had a chance 
to deliver its message, — received some time before from 
some distant mind. 

THE VARIOUS KINDS OF TEIjEPATHIO MESSAGES 

Telepathic messages may be "visual," in which case 
they take the form of pictures, figures, written or printed 
words, etc. 

They may he "auditory," in which case they take 
the form of spoken words. 

They may be "emotional," in which case the subject 
may feel a peculiar depression or excitement. 

They may be "volitional," in which case the subject 
is seized with the imperative desire to perform a certain 
action, etc. 

Telepathic messages may originate either in the living 
or in the dead. As they are transmitted from the sub- 
conscious mind (perhaps under the supervision and di- 
rection of the conscious mind), they are often trans- 



112 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

mitted most eJTectualJy during sleep, trance, under the 
influence of some drug, in delirium, at the moment of 
death, etc. These messages are most easily received 
at such times, when the conscious mind is asleep, or 
in abeyance, and for this reason we have so-called 
"visions of the dying," ecstasy, trance-speaking and 
revelation, etc. 

TELEPATHY FROM SPIRITS 

It is probably true that "spirits" converse with one 
another directly by means of telepathy, though they 
understand fully the thought of the other as though 
the sentence had been fully spoken. Swedenborg tells 
us that this is the ease, and that the telepathic thoughts 
sent out by a spirit appear to other spirits or to me- 
diums in trance, as clear and "sonorous" as spoken 
words. If spirits in the flesh can converse at times with 
one another by means of telepathy, and if disembodied 
spirits converse with one another by this means, it is 
only natural to suppose that this is frequently the 
method of communication resorted to between embodied 
and disembodied spirits, and all trance-mediums know 
that this is, in fact, the case. (The larger meanings 
and applications of telepathy will be discussed more 
fully in the chapter devoted to Prayer, etc.) 

PRACTICAL EXPERIMENTS IN TELEPATHY 

The following practical exercises will enable you to 
prove to your own satisfaction that telepathy exists, 
and that it can be reduced to a mors or less simple 
process by continued practice. 

Select a friend with whom yon are in sympathy, 
physically, mentally and morally. One of you must he 



TELEPATHY 113 

the sender or "transmitter," the other the receiver or 
"recipieDt." Let us suppose for a moment that you 
are the transmitter. Tlie recipient should be seated in 
a comfortable chair at one end of a fairly large room, 
which must be freely ventilated. It is best that, at 
least during the early experiments, he should be blind- 
folded, or that he close his eyes, and sit with his back 
to you, pencil in hand and pad on knee. He should sit 
in a semi-darkened part of the room. 

For your part, you should ait at a table, facing him 
(that is, his back) with a pad of paper and pencil before 
you, have a bright light thrown on the pad of paper, 
leaving the rest of the room in semi-darkneas. Now 
draw upon the paper a symbol, perhaps a geometrical 
figure, such as a triangle, circle, square, etc. Look 
at this figure intently and endeavour to impress it on 
the recipient. You should not make each trial exceed 
one minute in length. 

HOW TO INSURE B0CCES8 
The attitude of mind which you hold during these 
experiments is very important. You should will that 
your recipient should see the picture presented to him, 
yet you should not strain yourself in the attempt, and 
wrinkling the brows, tensing the muscles, etc., will not 
add to the certainty with which your picture is con- 
veyed, rather the reverse. On the other hand, you 
should have complete confidence in the fact that he will 
get the impression you are sending him. Never allow 
yourself for a moment to believe that you will fail. 
Say to yourself that he La-s already succeeded in receiving 
it. Do not allow yourself to become flustered, or wor- 
ried or anxious. Imagine your thoughts travelling to 




114 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



him in a definite form, either in the sMpe of the object 
itself, or in the word, squsrc, circle, etc., though in 
that case you must be careful that you do not uucon- 
sciously whisper the word so that he hears it! 

The recipient, on his part, should make bis mind as 
blank as possible, and note down any pictures or im- 
pressions that come to him, no matter how "wild" they 
may appear. Above all, you must not be discouraged 
by early non-successes, for these you must expect. 

MORE COMPUCATED EXPERIMENTS 

After you have succeeded with the diagrams, you may 
try more complicated pictures, such as playing cards, 
which are very good for this purpose, as the deck may 
be shuffled between each draw, and it is easy to calcu- 
late the percentage of guesses, since chance would always 
be 51 to 1 against the subject hitting upon the correct 
card by accident. 

After these experiments you may try some in the 
transference of pain. Prick yourself lightly in various 
parts of the body with a sharp needle, or pinch your- 
self, and see whether the subject can locate the pain 
correctly on himself. If he is a good subject, he will 
do so in very many instances, as though the pain were 
transferred directly to him, and you were pricking or 
pinching him. 

Next you may try a number of experiments in smell 
and taste. Procure a number of substances such as 
cloves, nutmeg, pepper, sugar, etc., and smell or taste 
these in turn, being careful that you are far enough 
removed from your subject to prevent him from smell- 
ing these in the usual way. Many good subjects can 
tell immediately the substance you are putting into 




TELEPATHY 



115 



yoar mouth, the instant you have placed it there. After 
you have succeeded thus far, you should try to increase 
the distance between you. until you can perforin the 
eame feats, though miles apart. 

HOW TO PREVENT EVTIj INFLUENCES PROM AFTECTINQ 
TOU 

These simple experiments will prove to you. and to 
the sceptic, the existence of telepathy. They will render 
you more sensitive to the reception of messages from 
distant living minds, and also messages from the dis- 
camate. In this way you will cultivate your sensitive- 
ness to messages of this character, and this will be 
beneficial to you, provided that you do not carry these 
practices too far and cultivate your sensitiveness unduly 
in wrong directions. 

Under normal, healthy conditions your mind will not 
be affected by impressions of this character, since it 
will be most diflicult for you to receive them, aa a rule, 
no matter how hard you may try. The mind always 
protects itself against too easy access by outside minds. 
It is very rare indeed that subjects are impressed against 
their will. Some persons, it is true, believe that others 
at a distance are influencing them in this manner, and 
impressing them to do certain things. Many believe 
that they are hypnotized, etc. But in nearly all cases 
these beliefs are illusory; they have no foundation in 
fact. When examined, they are found to rest wholly 
in the imagination of the subject, and they are fre- 
quently but the indications of an unbalanced mind. This 
does not mean that such persons are necessarily insane, 
but they would become so were they to dwell upon their 
imagined grievance long enough, and believe in it after 



116 



YOUE PSYCHIC POWERS 



they have been shown repeatedly that such was not the 
case. It is this persistent wiU-to-believe in a thing which 
is not true, that is one of the causes of insanity. 

The student who practises telepathy within reason 
and who has followed the instructions contained in the 
early chapters of this book as regards fortifying and 
protecting his own inner nature, need have no fear that 
telepathic influences or impressions from others will 
ever affect him against his own will. In nearly all cases, 
these so-caUed influences are imaginary ; and even should 
they exist, the subject, who has mastered himself, and 
who has strengthened his soul from within, is capable 
of overcoming and repulsing any outside forces of this 
character, and of preventing any telepathic influence 
from reaching him, no matter whether this comes from 
the living or from the dead. 



CHAPTER XIV 
CLAIRVOYANCE 



4 



CiAiRvoTANCE is derived from two French words and 
means literally "clear seeing." 

It means tar more, however, in the language ot Spirit- 
aaltem and psychics, and is now used to cover and 
classify, if not to explain, a large number of different 
phenomena which some day will probably be explained 
in other ways, There are various types and kinds of 
clairvoyance, different authorities having given somewhat 
different definitions of the various sub-divisions. Thus, 
the Manual of the National Spiritualists' Association 
subdivides and defines the various types of clairvoyance 
as follows' 

SUBJECTIVE CLAIRVOYANCE 

1. Subjective Clairvoyance is that psychic condition 
of a human being (who thereby becomes a medium) 
which enables spirit intelligences, through the manipula- 
tion of the nerve centres of sight, to impress or photo- 
graph upon the brain of the medium pictures and images 
which are seen as visions by the medium without the 
aid of the physical eye. These pictures and images 
may be of things, spiritual or material, past or present, 
remote or near,'hiddeu or uncovered, or they may have 
their existence simply in the conception or imagination 
of the medium communicating them. 

OBJECTIVE CLAIRVOTANCE 

2. Objective CIair\'oyance is that psychic power or 
function of seeing objectively spiritual beings, objects 



118 YOUB PSYCHIC POWERS 

and things by and throngh the spiritual sensorium which 
■ pervades the phj'sical mechaDism of vision, without which 
objective clairvoyance would be impossible. But few 
persons are bom with this power, in some it is developed 
and in others it has but a casual quickening. Its extent 
is governed by the rate of vibration under which it 
operates ; thus one clairvoyant may see objectively spirit- 
ual things which to another may be invisible, because 
of the degree of diiference in the intensity of the power. 

X-RAY CLAIRVOTANCB 

3. X-ray Clain'oyance is a form of clairvoyance which 
partakes of the characteristics of the x-ray and seems 
to be objective. The clairvoyant who possesses this 
power is able to see physical objects through intervening 
physical matter, can perceive the internal parts of the 
human body, diagnose disease and observe the opera- 
tions of healing and decay. 

CATALEPTIC CliAIRVOTANCE 

4, Cataleptic Clairvoyance occurs when the body is 
in a trance state, resembling sleep, induced by hypnotic 
power, exercised by an incarnate or decamate spirit, or 
it may be self-induced ; when in this state the spirit 
leaves the body and ia able, at its own will or the sug- 
gestion of the hypnotist, to travel to remote places and 
to see clearly what is transpiring in the places it lisits 
and to observe spiritual a« well as material things in 
its environment. While in this state it sometimes hap- 
pens that the thoughts of the spirit in its travels are 
expressed by the lips of the physical body and that 
thought-images are conveyed to it through the physical 
body. This is due to the fact that there is a spirit 




CLAIRVOYANCE 



"cord" which connects the body and the spirit and 
trajiamits vibrations between them. As long as this 
cord is not severed tha spirit can return to the body, 
but should it be severed, then what we call "death" 
would at once ensue. Under this form of clairvoyance 
there is an interblending of subjective and objective 
spiritual sight. 



TRANCE-CONTBOL CLAIEVOTANCE 

5. Trance-control Clairvoyance is that psychic state 
under which the control of the physical body of the 
medium is assumed by a spirit ititelligence, and the 
consciousuess of the medium is, for the time being, de- 
throned. In this case the controlling spirit is really the 
clairvoyant, and simply uses the medium's body as a 
means of communicating what the spirit sees, and there- 
fore the question of subjective and objective spiritual 
sight, in BO far as the medium is concerned, cannot be 
raised. To some persons who go to mediums for readings 
and who may become witnesses in trials at law it may 
not be known that under trance control the medium 
is to all intents and purposes absent, therefore in dealing 
with definitions of clairvoyance to be used for the en- 
lightenment of thinking people, judges and juries, it 
seems necessary for the protection of such mediums to 
explain what is here termed "Trance-Control Clairvoy- 
ance." 

TELEPATHIC CLAIRVOYANCE, ETC. 

6. Telepathic Clairvoyance is the subjective percep- 
tion in picture form of thought, transmitted from a 
distance. 

The type of clairvoyance illustrated in class 4 is 
frequently called "Travelling Clairvoyance" because 



120 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

the spirit appears to travel, after leaving ita body, and 
visit distant scenes. According to the above deSni- 
tions, this type of clairvoyance is classified under defi- 
nition No, 1, but other authorities would give it a 
eeparate class by itself. When the psychic's mind seems 
to travel backward along the stream of time, and re- 
members events which were beyond its normal recollec- 
tion, we have cases of so called " retrocognition. " 
When, on the other hand, the psyehie's mind seems 
to travel forward into the future and sees scenes and 
events which, of course, he was otherwise unable to fore- 
tell, we have cases of prevision, prophecy and precogni- 
tion. This latter subject will be dealt with more fully 
in the chapter devoted to "Prophecy versus Fortune- 
Telling." 

We also have spontaneous and experimental clair- 
voyance, these definitions explaining themselves. 

Then, direct and indirect clairvoyance: Direct when 
no other mind or agency is involved but the psychic's 
own ; indirect when it goes through a roundabout chan- 
nel and involves some other mind, incarnate or discamate. 

As opposed to "telepathic clairvoyance" we have 
so-called "Independent Clairvoyance." Also there are 
cases of "Reciprocal Clairvoyance" in which two per- 
sons see one another at the same time and, as it were, 
exchange their clairvoyant visions. 

The type of clairvoyance which is characterized by 
leaving the body and visiting the spiritual spheres (after- 
wards returning to reanimate the body) is called 
' ' ecstasy. ' ' 

Mr. Leadbeater divides Clairvoyance into three sub- 
divisions: clairvoyance in time, clairvoyance in space, 
and direct clairvoyance, in which the astral or spiritual 




^m Sudden 
^B water o 
^H 08 "dot 



CLAIRVOYANCE 



senses are opened up so as to perceive planes of activity 
now about ua. 

DBEAM CLAIRVOYANCE 

Clairvoyance may also occur in dreams, crystal visions, 
etc., and clairaudienee (whieli corresponds to clair\'oy- 
ance, save tfaat the information is obtained by means 
of the ear rather than the eye) may be obtained through 
shell -hearing. In this case the messages are heard rather 
than seen. (Another technical name for clairvoyance 
which is sometimes used is "Telwsthesia.") 

Clairvoyance may manifest itself in a variety of forms 
B8 the above definitions would signify. The most com- 
mon form is: 

Spontaneous Clairvoyance, in which the psychic seea 
pictures of absent persons and scenes. 

Clairvoyant dreams are fairly common. 

CLAIEVOYANT DIAGNOSIS 

There is a type of mental clairvoyance which enables 
the subject to see, as it were, into the body of another, 
diagnosing his disease as though he perceived clearly 
the conditioiis present in that individual's body at 
the time. This form of psychic vision was possessed 
by Andrew Jackson Davis in a remarkable degree, but 
is possessed by many psychics of our own day. 

Another form of clairvoyance is that in which under- 
ground metals and waters may sometimes be perceived. 
Usually in this case the psychic walks over the ground 
to be explored with a forked twig or stick in his hands. 
Suddenly this bends or dips, and where this happena 
water or metal is to be found. This is technically known 

"dowsing" and has been proved to exist as a scientific 



122 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



fact by Sir William P. Barrett, ProfeeBor of Physics, in 
the University of Dublin, 

Of late years a new and peculiar type of clairvoyance 
has been developed by Mr. Vincent N. Tiirvey of Lon- 
don, a friend of Mr. W. T. Stead. He termed this 
"Phone-voyance, " for the reason that he receives his 
impressions and intuitions, etc., when he is conversing 
with a distant friend over the telephone, and then only. 
This is a form of sensitiveness which could be obtained 
by many psychics if they developed it. 

THE EXPLANATION OF CLAIHTOYANCB 
Clairvoyance has been explained in a variety of ways. 
We may briefly summarize these theories as follows : 

1. The Astral or Spirituat-Sense-Theory. This may 
be stated as follows: Corresponding to each physical 
Bense-organ (the eye, ear, etc.) there is a corresponding 
spiritual or astral sen-se-organ. We see physical objects 
by means of the physical eye and hear them by means 
of the physical ear. When we see clairvoyantly, on the 
contrary, we see by means of our spiritual eye and when 
we hear clairaudiently we hear by means of the spiritual 
or astral ear. These spiritual sense-organs function in 
a spiritual world (and of course serve the spiritual 
body when we die as our physical organs now serve us) 
and operate on the spirit plane of activity. If their 
use is not cultivated in precisely the right direction, 
it may lead to difficulties, for the reason that both the 
astral and spiritual sight may be used at the same time, 
they may become mixed up, and you may see two worlds 
at once instead of one, so that you cannot be sure when 
you go outside the door whether you are going to step 



CLAIRVOYANCE 



123 



5 the pavement or into a great ditch, both of which you 
see equally clearly before you. Many persons have got 
into this condition which takes some time to outgrow, 

"The Spiritual Influence Theory." According to 
this theory clairvoyance is accomplished not by means 
o£ the subjects' own unaided powers, but always through 
the instrumentality of a spirit who sees the distant 
scenes, etc., and impresses them upon the subjects' mind 
telepathically. 

TUBES, THOUGHT-POBMS AND DIRBCT PEBOEPTION 

3. "The Astral Tube Theory." According to this 
view, the clairvoyant constructs a sort of telescope or 
tube for himself out of "astral matter," and through 
this be looks. The figures, in this ease, always appear 
small, and far-off. 

4. "By the Creation of a Thought Form." On this 
theory, we create a thought form for ourselves in the 
locality we desire to visit, and utilize it for the purpose 
of observation; we look out of its eyes, hear with its 
ears, etc. 

5. ' ' The Direct-Perception Theory. ' ' This theory 
says that outside influences play no part in the phe- 
nomeim, but that we perceive distant scenes ourselves, 
by means of some process of self-projection. But here 
we are met with the difiieulty that if the psychic is 
absent, viewing the distant .scene, how can he also be 
present in the room, animating his own body and speak- 
ing through it as he undoubtedly does in many casesf 

Moat psychiea, when they begin their development, 
see shapes and figures more frequently than they experi- 
ence any other phenomena. They wonder why this 



124 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

should be. Why should nearly all of us seel (Now 
and then, it is true, we come across one who hears more 
easily than sees, but he is the exception, not the rule.) 

WHY AND HOW WB "SEb" tH CLAIRVOTANCE 

The explanation of this fact is probably the follow- 
ing: We use our eyes more than we do any other one 
of our senses. We feel that our active consciousness 
is more connected with sight than with anything else. 
The sight-centres in the brain are more used than any 
of the others, and this fact is proved by dreams, in 
which we see figures but very seldom hear spoken words. 
Again our memory consists mostly of visual symbols. If 
we think of a person we call up his image before us, 
this being a "memory image," Now, as these parts of 
the mind and brain are so active, it in only an exten- 
sion of this faculty of inducing memory-images, which 
enables us to see objects and figures in clairvoyance. 
We only have to force this faculty of the mind a little 
more than usual to carry it beyond the limitations of 
physical sense ; whereas, with the other senses, much less 
used, we have to do a great deal more of this cultivating 
or forcing-process, in order to develop the corresponding 
spiritual organs. Clairvoyance and similar faculties de- 
pend in many cases upon the partial liberation or free- 
ing of the spirit from the body, and the stimulation of 
the corresponding psychic sense-organs into a higher 
degree of activity, and so permitting their use. The 
following are a few exercises which will be found helpful 
in developing this faculty of clairvoyance, according to 
our methods of development. 



CLAIRVOYANCE 



DEVELOPING EXERCISES 

1. Seat yourself in a comfortable ehair in a Bemi- 
darkened room. Mentally construct (i.e., imagine) be- 
fore you a tube, open at both ends. One end of this 
tube fits over your eyes, and the other end extends 
indefinitely outward into space. Imagine that this tube 
is hollow and that you can see through it perfectly. 
Turn this tube in the direction of the house of a friend 
of yours; mentally go into a room and see if you can 
discover in it any one present, — and if so, who he is 
and what he looks like. Note wjhat you see carefully. 
You will be able to verify the next day how far your 
vision is correct. 

2. Construct the tube as before. At the other end of 
this tube, which you should imagine about one hundred 
yards long, you must endeavour to see clairvoyantly the 
face of a friend. Try to distinguish the features of this 
face, making them clearer and clearer. When you have 
done this, gradually pull it toward you by an effort 
of will, until it is only about two or three feet distant. 
It should then be perfectly clear and every feature 
distinguishable. When you have succeeded in visualiz- 
ing this face so clearly that you see it as distinctly as 
you would if that individual stood before you in life, 
your progress as a clairvoyant will have made great 
advances and you may then begin experiments in inftit- 
encing this person at a distance, while seeing his face 
before you, as explained. Will that be should do a 
certain thing, to think of you at a certain time or see 
your face float before him as he is huBy with his daily 
occupations, If you practice this persistently, you will 



1 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



ultimately achieve suceess, being able to mfluence per- 
sona withoat doubt. 



POLJIRIZATION AND HOW TO USE IT 

This ability to influence a distant person or object by 
means of your will, when directed toward him, has been 
termed a "polarization,"' because you polarize a path 
or channel through the astral atmosphere toward the 
desired point, and this channel facilitates psychic com- 
munication in both directions. A great deal depends, 
during these experiments, upon your ability to bold the 
object clearly in your mind's eye and to concentrate 
upon it. If you do not do this, your efforts will be lost, 
since you will find there are a great many astral cur- 
rents, playing to and fro, which tend to disintegrate 
your own currents set up by you, and unless these 
are strong you will not succeed in overcoming the astral 
' ' cross-currents. ' ' 

In conducting these experiments you must be sure, 
especially at first, always to keep your consciousness 
centred in your own hody, and not to let it go outward 
into space along with your thought; your will alone 
must travel outward ; yon must keep your consciousness 
within your own physical body. If you do not do this 
you will be apt to get into trouble. Your starting-point, 
your "focal centre," as it is called, must always be 
maintained. 

In developing clairvoyance you should remember that 
faith and belief tend to open up your latent powers and 
faculties, while disbelief has the contrary effect of clos- 
ing them and shutting off all further development. 
This is true iu all lines of psychic unfoldment. 

Clairvoyance is a faculty possessed by the whole hu- 



CLAIRVOYANCE 



127 



man race in varying degrees, and there are indications 
that with each generation, its power is beeomiog greater 
and greater, so that the time will doubtless come when 
every one will see clairvoyantly just as we now see with 
our ordinary eyes. In fact, the possession of strong 
intuitions and sentiments, sensing the feelings and emo- 
tions of others, etc., are but undeveloped clairvoyant 
fianhes, giving you an insight into the mind o£ the 
person with whom you are conversing. 

FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CliAlHVOTANCB 

Concentration is an important factor in the culti- 
vation of clairvoyance. You must train your mind 
80 that you can think of a particular object for several 
minutes without relaxing or allowing any other thought 
to enter your consciousness. You must practise gazing 
at an object until you can do this for two or three 
minutes without moving your eyes and without fatigue. 
You should cultivate deep-breathing esereises and, dur- 
ing inspiration, think that you are drawing on the vital 
energy of the universe, while with each breath you exhale 
you are throwing off any adverse influences which may 
have come to you. 

"Visualizing" is an important factor in developing 
clairvoyance. You should get into the habit of calling 
up before your mind a face you have seen or a scene you 
have witnessed that day, trying to remember every detail 
and making it clearer and clearer until you have every 
detail clear in your mind's eye. You should then en- 
deavour to project it outward into space, as though you 
were seeing these pictures outside your head as real 
entities, and not merely as memory pictures. 

Crystal-gazing, etc., will greatly help in this. 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW DISTINGUISH TRUE FROM FALSE 

One qaestion which always presents itself to the mind 
oE the student is this: "How can I distinguish the 
true from the false, real clairvoyant visions from memory 
pictures and hallucinations T " It is extrexaely difficult 
to do this, particularly for the beginner, and this ability 
to distinguish comes only with prolonged practice and 
experience. A lady of my acquaintance has all her 
life been enabled to distinguish between phantasmal 
figures of the living and those of the dead. That is, 
she could tell by looking at the figure whether it repre- 
sented a living or a dead person. Again she was al- 
ways able to tell whether this was a genuine or helpful 
intelligence or whether it was an evil or lying one. 
This ability to distinguish cannot be gained in a day, 
it must come by practise ; and the beginnings of genuine 
clairvoyance can only be ascertained by experiment and 
by following up the visions and figures which appear 
to one, and see whether they lead to anything definite in 
the way of progress and enlightenment or not. 

As to the various symbols and colours which appear 
to the clairvoyant, these should be interpreted according 
to the rules laid down in Chapters XI and SII, devoted 
to these subjects. Clairvoyance in dreams will be dis- 
cussed in the next chapter. 

A few words in conclusion, as to the theory of clair- 
voyance: It will be remembered that I enumerated be- 
fore (pp. 117-24) the various theories which have been 
advanced to explain Clairvoyance, the astral-sense theory, 
the direct vision theory, etc. Oar own view of the matter 
is that all of the explanations previoualy proposed are 




CLAIRVOYANCE 



129 



in a sense true, that is they are all true in particular 
cases, but that none of them explains all types of clair- 
voyance. The spirit-influence-theory is true in some in- 
stances, the direct-clairvoyance- theory is true in others, 
and the astral-sense-theory is the correct one in still 
others, etc. 



THE MYSTEEY SOLVED 

As to the difficulty which is presented by the fact 
that a clairvoyant can animate and speak through his 
own body while he is psychically active elsewhere, this 
is explained by assuming that only a portion of his total 
psychic self remains behind, and that the more active 
spirit-part performs the journey or "excursion," — this 
part being connected to the physical body by means of 
a cord or connection which unites it to the latter. This 
connection is sometimes called the "Silver thread," and 
is the channel of communication between the spirit and 
its body, while the former has eone on its excursion. 
If this "thread" were to snap or become broken, death 
would take place, since the spirit would be unable to 
return and reanimate the body. Such accidents are 
extremely rare, but they have been recorded from time 
to time in the past. In clairvoyance, the connection 
remains, of course, intact, and communication back and 
forth, between the body and the absent psj'chic self, 
takes place along this cord or thread. In still other 
types of clairvoyance, on the other hand, no actual 
excursion or leaving the body takes place ; the active 
consciousness remains in the body, animating it, while 
the clairvoyant vision takes place through the psychic 
"telescope" or "tube" before mentioned. In such cases, 



130 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



there is no diflSculty in accounting for all we see, but 
this is not sach an advanced type of clairvoyance as 
the former, in which the psychic self leaves the body, 
and goes on trips and excursions of its own. 



CHAPTER XV 
DBGAHS 



i 



Dreams usually take place during sleep, though there 
is a peculiar form of imaginative picturing which may 
occur Rometimefi during the waking hours and which we 
call "day-dreaming." Of these I shall treat in another 
place. Speaking first of ordinary dreams, I may be- 
gin by pointing out that, before we can understand 
them, we must know a little of the nature and phenomena 
of sleep in which they occur. We all spend about one 
third of our lives in sleep, so that this is a condition 
which we should certainly know something about if we 
possibly can ! 

WHAT IS sleep! 

Various theories have been advanced in the past to 
explain sleep, but no satisfactory theory has ever been 
fully accepted. Thus we have the so-ealled "chemical 
theories," which endeavour to account for sleep by as- 
suming that certain poisonous substances are formed 
in the body during waking hours and are eliminated 
during sleep. Others have suggested that sleep is due 
to peculiar conditions of the circulation of blood in the 
brain; still others that the action of certain glands 
explains sleep; others that muscular relaxation accounts 
tor it; others that the lack of external stimuli is suffi- 
cient to induce profound slumber. All of these theories 
have been shown insufficient to explain the facta. We 
shall never arrive at a satisfactory theory of sleep, 
doubtless, until we admit the presence of a vital force 



132 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and the existeace of an individual human spirit, which 
withdraws more or less completely from the body during 
the hours of sleep, and derives spiritual invigoration 
and nourishment during its Bojourn in the spiritual 
world. We shall speak of this more fully presently. 

TUB SEVEN COMMON DREAMS 

For the present we must explain, to begin with, the 
common types of dreams, and show how tliey are to be 
accounted for: 

There are seven types of dreams which, it is said, 
everybody experiences at one time or another in bis 
life. These are: 

1. The falling dream, 

2. The flying dream, 

3. The dream of inadequate clothing, 

4. The dream of not being able to get away from 

some beast or injurious person or thing that is 
pursuing, 

5. The dream of being drawn irresistibly to some 

dangerous place, 

6. The dream that some darling wish has been grati- 

fied, 

7. The dream of being about to go on a journey and 

being unable to get your things into your trunk, 

ete. 
Some of these dreams are to be explained in one way, 
some in another; but broadly speaking, it may be said 
that all ordinary dreams, such as the above, or others 
of a like tj-pe, are due to one of three causes: 

1. Physical stimuli, 

2. Subconscious mental association, 

3. Subconscious imagination. 



DREAMS 



133 



In addition to this subconscious field there is also an- 
other: The Super-Conscious o£ which we shall apeak 
later; but as this is not recognized by "orthodox" 
psychologists of today, we shall not discuss it for the 
present. 



CAUSES OP DREAMS 

Physical stimuli give rise to dreams in this way : The 
dream of inadequate clothing for example, is doubtless 
produced by chilling the surface of the body, this, in 
turn, usually being due to the bed-clothes falling off 
onto the floor. The dream of falling is probably due 
to the fact that, by lying too long in one position, the 
blood-supply is cut off, causing loss of sensation in the 
under part of the body, this in turn giving rise to the 
idea that we are not supported, consequently that we are 
flying or falling, etc. If a book is dropped, this may 
be symbolized as the report of a pistol in a duel, etc. 

Association causes many dreams in the following way: 
One idea or object of the mind brings up another con- 
nected with it, more or less directly, as it would be in 
life, and the whole storehouse of the subconscious mind 
is drawn upon in these associations, so that dreams are 
far more varied than our conscious associations. In 
addition to this the third factor namely "imagination" 
is greatly enlarged and given free play, for the reason 
that the conscious, logical mind is dormant, to a great 
extent, and hence the wild flights of imagination, which 
we take in sleep, are possible. 

THE INTERPRETATION OP DREAUS 

It is because of these facts that nothing appears absurd 
to us while we are dreaming; no matter how ridiculous 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



a situation may be, it never seems so io us until we are 
awake and able to reason over it. The curious medley 
of thoughts compoBing most dreams, presents a striking 
resemblance to the ravings of delirium and insanity, and 
various medical authors have written books, aiming to 
show the close similarity between dreams and such insane 
"wanderings." 

It has been shown, of late years, that almost all dreams, 
however illogical they may appear, are in reality more 
or less consistent, and that a logical strain or under- 
current may be found running through them, if they 
are analysed and examined carefully enough. The cele- 
brated Dr. Freud of Vienna has worked out an elaborate 
system of dream-interpretation, based on his exploration 
of the subconscious mind, and those who may be in- 
terested may consult his recent work on "Dreams." 
He traces most dreams to early childhood impressions, 
and believes that they express, as a rule, suppressed 
wishes which have slumbered in the subconscious mind 
of the dreamer and are "externalized" in this form. 

Dreams have, in fact, been compared to the bubbles 
which break upon the surface of a pond of water. In 
both eases they have risen upwards through the lower 
strata and we see the finished product only. What gave 
rise to thisT This is a subject for further investigation. 

HOW TO ANALYSE DREAMS 

If yon wish to ascertain the causes of certain dreams, 
you may ofteo do so in the following manner: 

Place your subject, who wishes his dream analysed, 
in a comfortable chair, seated in a quiet room in serai- 
darkness. Set going a metronome or ask him to listen 
to the tick of a large clock. While doing this certain 



DREAMS 135 

images and impressions will arise before his mind. Ask 
him to tell you what these are. As soon as lie has done 
BO, question hira as to the origin of these, etc., and, by 
continued questioning {going deeper all the time into 
his miLd) you will ultimately find out the origin of 
his dream. An example will prove this: 

A lady of our acquaintance went into hysterics every 
time she smelled plum-pudding! She could not account 
for this. One night she had a dream in which she saw 
herself cooking pudding in the kitchen, and woke up 
in a great state of fear and excitement. Analysis of 
this dream showed that when she was a little girl, she 
had been left alone in the kitchen while pudding was 
cooking, and that the pudding had burnt and nearly set 
the house on fire. She saw herself running from the 
kitchen and screaming. As soon as this was discovered 
she no longer experienced any fear or unpleasant sensa- 
tions while smelling any kind of pudding; she was, in 
fact, completely cured! The subconscious fear had been 
removed and its evil effects ceased. 

Many similar fears, which terrorize our dreams and 
cause nightmare, could be shown to be due to these early 
childish impressions, were we to analyse carefully enough 
such dreams. 

THE SYMBOLISM OP DREAMS 

The main characteristic of nearly all dreams is their 
symbolUm. Of all our experiences, dreams are doubt- 
less the most symbolic. They represent certain wishes, 
desires, emotions, thoughts, etc., which fill the subcon- 
scious mind, and which become associated together, form- 
ing what are known as "complexes." These thoughts, 
as they become externalized, are presented in symbolic 



136 TOUB PSYCHIC POWERS 

form. Thus, a snake may be a symbol of fear and 
hatred; an angel may be a symbol of love; a key may 
be a symbol of success, etc. 

SEEIXO AND HEARINQ m DBEAMS 

Pew people see colours in dreams. The shadows and 
figures which make up nearly all dream images are 
colourless or are of the consistence of light smoke. Just 
uky this should be so we do not exactly know; but some 
artists, who deal a great deal in colour, experience dreams 
in which all the characters are clothed in gorgeous and 
highly coloured robes. This, however, is the exception, 
not the rule. 

Again, why do we all see figures, scenes, etc., in our 
dreamst We very seldom kear either music or spoken 
conversation. Words are more rare than pictures. The 
reason for this is probably that we use our eyes more 
continually and more consciously than we do our ears, 
and for this reason the visual images are more easily 
expressed than the auditory symbols. Smell, taste and 
touch are even more rare factors in dreams than hearing. 

Many persons experience peculiar visions while falling 
to sleep. They see hundreds of tiny faces before them 
in the dark, which may condense into one, and this 
becomes larger and larger and finally vanishes, etc. 
These are well-understood, and need cause no fear or 
anxiety. 

FERSISTENT DREAH WAGES 

On the other hand, dream-pictures or images may 
continue for some moments after awakening, and these 
are called "persistent dream images." Thus, Dr. Aber- 
crombie mentions an instance of a medical friend of his, 
who, having sat up late one evening, fell asleep in his 



DREAMS 



137 



chair and had a frightful dream in which the prominent 
fi^re was an Immense baboon. He awoke with the 
fright, got up instantly and wallted to a table which 
was in the middle of the room. He was then awake 
and quite conscious of the articles around him, but 
close to the wall of the apartment he distinctly saw the 
baboon, making the same grimaces which he had Keen 
in his dream, and the picture continued visible for 
about half a minute! This is a good case of persistent 
dream-image. 

WHAT TS SOMNAHBtn^ISM T 

Occasionally the muscular system becomes active dur- 
ing sleep, instead of the senses only, and then we have 
cases of somnambulism, in which the patient walks and 
talks in his sleep, etc., and even does consecutive mental 
work. This shows a too active condition of his subcon- 
scious mind, which should be checked by proper treat- 
ment. It is extremely dangerous to wake any one sud- 
denly in the middle of an access of somnambulism. If 
the patient talks in his sleep it may be very interesting, 
at times, to converse with him in a low tone and see 
whether or not he will reply intelligently. Many cases 
are on record in which valuable information has been 
obtained in this way, not only about the subject, but 
about distant scenes and even about his spirit friends. 

It is possible, also, to cultivate automatic writing 
with a good somnambulist, and, in one case known to 
us, the patient went to bed with a planchette board tied 
to her hand, the pencil resting on a large sheet of paper 
and when she awoke in the morning it was covered with 
interesting messages! This is an experiment which the 
enthusiastic student would do well to repeat. 



138 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



I must now speak of "superconscious" dreams, in 
which we are brought into contact with a higher plane of 
life and activity in the same way that we are in contact 
with a lower plane during many of our ordinary dreams. 
When this happens, we experience so-called "super- 
normal dreams" of which the following are types: 

SUPERNORMAL IHtEAMS 

1. The telepathic dream, in which telepathy occurs 
during sleep between a distant living mind and the 
sleeping mind of the subject. Information is thereby 
imparted, which the sleeper could not possibly have 
known. For instance, in one case, the sleeper's brother 
appeared to him and notified him of his own recent acci- 
dent which proved to be true. In another case the 
eleeper dreamed that a friend of his told him something 
which also proved to be true, etc. These are so-called 
telepathic dreams. 

2. Clairvoyant dreams in which the subject sees dis- 
tant scenes and his vision subsequently proves to be 
true. In such cases, the dreamer apparently leaves hia 
body and travels to the locality in question. 

3. Premonitory dreams in which a vision of the future 
is obtained. In a few days, weeks or months, as the 
case may be, this dream-vision is fulfilled to the letter. 

4. Spirit -Communication during dreams in which a 
discarnate spirit apparently appears and gives a message 
to the sleeper, either of consolation, or perhaps tells 
him an important item of news which he should know. 
In cases of this character we border very closely upon 
the medium-trance and true mediumship. In rare cases, 
communication has apparently been established in this 
manner. 



EXPERIMENTALLY INDUCED DREAMS 
It is possible to induce telepathic dreams experiment- 
ally in another, and you will 6nd it most interesting 
to endeavour to do this, or to serve as the subject for 
others who endeavour to induce certain dreams in you 
during your sleeping hours. 

In such cases the sleeper has only to deseribe as care- 
fully as possible his dreams on awakening. Those who 
endeavour to impress the dreams upon him must picture 
in their minds a clearly -formed series ot images — al- 
lowing these to float before them in space, endeavouring 
to impress each one in turn upon the sleeper by the 
power of will. After a little practice these experimenta 
will often be found to succeed. 

It is possible to control our own dreams, to a certain 
extent, if wc desire to do so. Thus, on falling to sleep, 
you may will that you experience dreams of a certain 
character, and if you set about it rightly you can obtain 
these in many instances. Help is frequently given in 
this way. I know of several cases in which a subject 
has fallen to sleep after mentally sugpesting to herself 
that she would receive enlightenment, help and counsel 
through her dreams concerning the diffiouU problems of 
her daily life. In practically every case this was given, 
though often in somewhat symbolic form. If this were 
cultivated, it would prove a useful adjunct to our daily 
lives. 

EEUEMBEBINO DREAMS 

Another good experiment, which the interested pupil 
should make, would be to endeavour to catch himself 
falling asleep, that is, to analyse the gradual loss of 
consciousness in his own person which occurs as be is 




140 



TOUH PSYCHIC POWERS 



falling into sleep. Some people can catch themselves in 
this way and others cannot. Those who are wide awake 
one minute and asleep the next will probably never 
make first-class mediums. Those who linger in the bor- 
derland the longest, are those who are naturally most 
psychic. 

Another test is that of remembering dreams. If you 
can remember clearly a large percentage of your dreams, 
you are probably quite psychic. On the other hand, 
if you remember nothing that has occurred during 
sleep, you are more or less matter-of-fact, and, unless 
you are the exception, probably will not attain any 
very great development along psyehic lines. It is un- 
wise, however, to cultivate to too great an extent this 
habit of remembering your dreams. If you do, you 
will thin the wall which separates your dream-life from 
your waking-life, and if this becomes "perforated," 
trouble may result. Keep the two distinct, therefore, 
after your first initial experiments at introspection and 
dream analysis. 



CHAPTER XVI 
AUTOMATIC WRITING 



i 



Automatic writing means writing which is performed 
without the use of the conscious miad, that is, writing 
which is performed by the unconscious muscular ener- 
gies of the hand and arm; hence automatic or non- 
conscious writing, A pencil is taken in the ordinary 
way and held over a piece of paper, and in a short time 
it wilt be noticed that slight movements of the pencil 
occur, making scrawling marks on the paper. As time 
goes on, these marks become more and more consistent 
and consecutive. They begin to form circles, hooks, 
etc., until letters, then words, and finally whole sen- 
tences are written out. 

UOW TO OBTAIN AUTOMATIC WRITING 

The best way to obtain automatic writing is to hold 
the arm clear of the table, — that is, so that neither the 
wrist, nor the elbows, nor any part of the arm touches 
it. In this way a certain amount of fatigue is soon in- 
duced in the arm, and, as soon as this occurs, automatic 
writing tends to begin. 

In obtaining writing of this character you must be 
careful to abstract your conscious guidance from the 
hand as much as possible, leaving it to itself. Do 
not try and write anything of your own volition; let 
it guide itself, even if it writes nonsense at first. 

Some persons obtain writing more easily if the pencil 

be placed between the first and second fingers, but what- 

Ul 



142 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



ever way is most convenient to you should be adopted 
in cultivating automatic writing. 

Make the mind as blank as possible. After a time you 
may be able to think of other things at the same time, 
carry on a train of conversation, read a book, etc., at 
the same time that your hand is writing the messages; 
but it is improbable that you will be able to do this at 
first. The chief thing ja to make the mind blank and 
await results. 



TWO IMPORTANT RULES TO FOLLOW 

When developing automatic writing, you should sit 
for not longer than fifteen or twenty minutes daily and, 
if possible, always at the same time. It is very impor- 
tant that these two rules be observed, for two reasons: 

la the first place your spirit friends, who are, we are 
told, trying to help you in your writing, would come to 
assist you at certain stated times more easily than irregu- 
larly, especially if you told them exactly at what time 
to come. It is a good plan to say aloud, just when you 
have finished the writing: "Good-bye, tomorrow at the 
same time we will sit again for the messages!" 

In the second place the time should be limited. When 
you obtain writing of this character you are apt to get 
BO interested in the results, when once messages begin to 
come, and so curious in seeing what your hand says, 
that you will lose all account of time, and, if you have 
nothing urgent to do, are liable to run on hour after 
hour writing automatically and replying to the messages 
you receive. If you do this for any length of time you 
will break down the "wall of defence" which normally 
exista against outside influences, and of the importance 



AUTOMATIC WRITING 143 

of which I have spoken so often in the preceding 
chapters. Mr, W. T. Stead, the well-known journalist 
and spiritualist, once stated that he considered these 
two warnings of the utmost importance, and attributed 
his own success (and the fact that he had never en- 
countered any difficulties or any trouble in his automatic 
writing) to the fact that he had heeded strictly this 
advice. 

HOW AUTOMATIC WRITING IS ACCOMPLISHED 

Automatic writing is doubtless performed by the sub- 
conscious muscular action on the part of the hand and 
arm of the writer, that is in the majority of cases. But 
this does not serve to "explain" it, as many people 
believe. Granting that the actual writing is obtained 
in this way, the question remains "How about the 
information which is often obtained by means of the 
writing, information which the writer could not possibly 
have known by any normal means!" For instance, 
suppose you are sitting at your table, pencil in hand, 
waiting to see what is written. Your hand writes: "I 
am James Valentine. I was killed in a railroad accident 
this afternoon at four o'clock." Granting that your 
own hand actually moved the pencil to write this mes- 
sage, where did this piece of information come from! 
How did your mind know what to write, and the fact 
that James Valentine had been killed ! That is the ques- 
tion which remains to be solved, and is the one which 
the majority of scientists wJio have undertaken to in- 
vestigate and e-\plain these phenomena sliir over and 
leave altogether unexplained. In many other cases, also, 
the power seems to be greater than the medium alone 



144 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

could have produced, and in such eases an outside power 
was doubtless employed, as in many "physical pheno- 
mena.'" 

THE CHARACTER OF THE MESSAGES RECEIVED 

Many of the messages you receive, especially at first, 
will doubtless prove incoherent and disconnected, like 
dreams; in fact they arc dreams, only instead of seeing 
these thoughts in visions, they are written out by your 
own hand. In both cases, however, it is your dream- 
consciousness (subconsciousness) which originates the 
messages or the visions. 

In many cases, however, clear and consistent messages 
are written and these may be supernormal and show 
evidence of telepathy, clairvoyance, premonition, or 
spirit-communication, just as dreams do. Many me- 
diums obtain their messages direct by automatic writing. 
Mrs. Piper of Boston, in many ways the most famous 
medium in the history of Psychics, obtained nearly all 
her communications in this manner. In her case, she 
passes into very deep trance while writing and has to 
be supported by cushions. In your own case, it is im- 
probable that you will go into trance at first, — though 
you may have a tendency to do so, and if you begin to 
feel sleepy or drowsy during the writing, you should 
give way to this and allow yourself to pass into the 
trance-condition. In this state many of the best mes- 
sages are obtained. It is advisable, however, to do this 
for the first few times only in the presence of an experi- 
enced medium or psychic, who can attend to you during 
the period of trance, and who will ask questions for 
your hand to reply to, etc. 



AUTOMATIC WRITING 



PHEKOMENA WHICH MAT OCCUR DltRINQ THE WRITING 

This feeling of drowsiness appears very often in auto- 
matic writing, but it is not universal. Many mediums 
who obtain remarkable messages in this manner have 
never passed into trance and have no desire to do so ; 
they remain perfectly normal throughout. 

It may be that when you begin to write, your hand 
and arm will shown signs of insensibility; that is, it 
will lose its sensation and any feeling of pain, etc. It 
becomes, as we say, amesthetic. You may be quite un- 
conscious of this fact and only discover it by an accident. 
A good plan is to have a friend test it for you. When 
you are obtaining automatic writing, close your eyes 
and turn your head away, then ask your friend to prick 
you verj- lightly with a needle in various parts of your 
hands and arms and see whether you experience any 
pain. It is quite possible that you will not do so, even 
if the pricks are severe. It is curious to note, however, 
that these pricks are noticed by the subeonscioiis mind, 
for it often happens that the hand will write auto- 
matically: "You are hurting me," or "you pricked me 
in the third finger-joint," or something of the kind while 
you yourself might remain totally ignorant of the fact, 
so far as any consciousness of it was concerned. It is 
important for you to remember that automatic messages, 
like all messages of a like character, must be judged 
and accepted for what they are worth. 

UORB PHENOUENA 

Some of these messages are very remarkable, and con- 
tain sound advice which can be followed with profit. 
Some apparently originate from those spirit friends who 



146 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 






claim to give them. On the other hand, many of them" 
are foolish, lying or merely silly, so that here, as in 
all other eases, discrimination must be used, and you 
must exert your own eommon-seose and judgment iu the 
matter of accepting these messages, and you must see 
to what extent you may be willing to abide and profit 
by the advice given. 

It sometimes happens that automatic writing forms 
letters, but these appear curiously shaped and the words 
cannot be readj sometimes it begins at the right hand 
side of the page and writes toward the left, like Hebrew, 
When this is the case it is always a good plan to hold 
the sheet of paper up to a mirror to see whether the 
writing can be read in this way. If so, the writing has 
been merely reversed, and is what we t«rm "mirror- 
writing." 

Some persons can write with the left hand as well 
as with the right, but usually this is not the case, except 
with left-handed persons. The reason seems to be that 
the left hand is poorly developed as a writing machine. 
For this reason, we can hardly expect any intelligence 
who may desire to give messages, to find this an easy 
way o£ expressing them ! Still it may be tried after writ- 
ing has been obtained by the right hand. ■ 

Occasionally messages are given in foreign languages 
or in queer tongues, unknown to the sitter. These may 
be genuine messages and if they come in a language 
unknown to you, you may be more or less assured that 
they emanate from some spirit friend who speaks the 
langnage in question. Occasionally, however, your hand 
will write "gibberish," and there are many cases on 
record where this has been done and no true language 
has been written. 



J 



AUTOMATIC WRITING 



HOW TO DEVELOP THE POWER 

It is a good plaji to sit in a semi-darkened room while 
obtaining automatic writing, in a comfortable position 
and with the mind as free from care and preoccupation 
as possible. Automatic writing may, however, be ob- 
tained in a light room, If desired. 

Telepathic experiments may be tried in this manner: 
A friend of yours may try to impress upon you certain 
words, cards, figures, etc., which your hand writes auto- 
matieatly. 

The writing, you must remember, is only another 
method for the subconscious to express itself to the con- 
scious mind, and happens to be a motor-channel rather 
than a sensory-channel. If it were the latter, you would 
see or hear the message instead of writing it. In both 
eases, however, the phenomena represent mere "emer- 
gence. ' ' 

It is not necessary to write automatically with a pencil, 
for a Planchette-Board, Ouija-Board or some other ap- 
paratus may be used for this purpose. Indeed, this is 
a much simpler method to begin with, and writing is 
obtained more easily than by the pencil alone. Most 
people find it more satisfactory, however, to discard 
these instruments later on, and employ the pencil direct. 

The above rules should enable the student to obtain 
automatic writing in a comparatively short time. 
Patience is required here as elsewhere. Hold the mind 
in a receptive attitude, send out a mental call for guid- 
ance and wisdom, and do not come to the conclusion too 
quickly that the messages you receive are nonsense. 
Often a jumble of letters that, at first sight, mean noth- 
ing, may form a very significant message, when rightly 
interpreted. 



CHAPTER XVII 
CRYeTAL-GAZmG AND SHELL-HEARING 



li 



CrtStal-gazing means, simply, the praetiee of looking 
into a ball oE crystal, glass or some similar substance 
and endeavouring to see within it pictures or images 
which apparently present themselves to the eye, while 
thus gazing at it. 

Crystal- Gazing is very ancient. The Egyptians used 
it in their practices of divination, and, throughout 
ancient history, we find traces of this magical art. In 
the middle-ages it was revived, especially by the learned 
Dr. Dee, who lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth in 
England, and who employed a seer or "scryer" by the 
name of Kelly. Dr. Dee wrote a book on his researches, 
which work is now classical. 

In more recent times Crystal- Gazing has been made 
a subject of special study by the Psychical Research 
Society and several books may now be had upon the 
question. It is a vcrj' simple and at the same time one 
of the safest means of psychic development. It is not 
necessary, as a matter of fact, to employ a crystal or 
even a glass-ball, particularly if you are a good subject, 
but it would greatly help matters if you did possess 
one, and we should advise the student to procure one 
if possible and use this for purposes of experimentation, 

HOW TO BEGIN 

The beat way to begin is to procure a crystal of at 
least three inches in diameter, larger if possible, and 



CRYSTAL-GAZING 



149 



taoUQted upon a slender wooden stand. The stand and 
crjstal should be placed against a background of black 
felt or clotli, and the crystal should be shaded with mora 
cloih of the same character, so that there is no high-light 
anywhere upon it, that is, no point upon which the sun 'a 
rays fall, making it a bright spot. If the outlines of 
the ball appear a little cloudy and uncertain, owing to 
the semi -darkness, this will often help matters. 

Place yourself in front of the ball, your eyes being 
about a foot from its surface. You should be seated in 
a comfortable chair, your eyes shaded from the light 
and relaxed in body and quiet in mind. Gaze steadily 
at the crystal for a few minutes ; do not strain or foeua 
the eyes particularly upon any part of the ball or try 
to see into its interior. Do not blink the eyes more 
than you can help ; at the same time do not strain them 
by trying to keep them open for any length of time 
without blinking. Do not let your eyes wander from 
the ball nor your attention relax from the subject in 
hand. Do not let your eyes stare vacantly, but look 
intently at the ball without undue strain or concentra- 
tion. Try not to think of anything in particular during 
the process of this gazing; make the mind fairly blank, 
at the same time do not allow yourself to become sleepy 
or the mind to become totally blank to outside impres- 
sions. 

It is inadvisable to keep this up for more than five 
minutes at a time at first, for if you do you will find 
that your eyes will become strained and will "water" 
after you leave off the experiment. If this is the case 
you may be sure you have continued gazing for too long 
a period. As in automatic writing, it is advisable, if 
possible, to sit at the same time every day, while develop- 



150 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

ing and for the same length of time each day. This 
time may be lengthened as you progress, though it is 
usually found unnecessary to look into the crystal for 
more than a few minutes at a time, for you eannot get 
consistent, long-drawn-out visions, as you can Automatic- 
Writing. 

EXPLANATION OP CRYBTAI^GAZING 

Cryetal-Gazing depends largely upon the ability pos- 
sessed by the psychic to "visualize" or express in pic- 
torial form, thoughts and images which arise from the 
subconscious mind. The majority of crystal visions are 
of this character. You must not assume that because 
you see 6gures in the ball that these figures are really 
in that place, — that is, that they are objective or external 
and exist within the crystal. No, — they are mental 
pictures or hallucinations, but they are expressed or 
externalized in this way. 

For example: You may think of a friend's face and 
bring it up vividly before your mind's eye, as a memory 
picture. Now, in ordinary life, the process of exter- 
nalization ends there, but if you are a good visualizer 
you can carry it further, and actually project into the 
crystal the picture of your thought, placing it in the 
ball, where you will see your friend's face dearly re- 
flected from within its depths. But your friend is not 
really in the ball; it is merely your mental conception 
or picture of him. Nearly all crystal visions are of this 
character, as before said. 

SDPERNOBMAL CRYSTAL VISIONS 

Crystal visions, however, often contain information 
and messages which the sitter could not possibly have 



CRYSTAL-GAZING 



151 



known normally, and which are conveyed to him by 
this means. For instance, you may look into the ball 
one day and see, acled before you in the crystal -vision, 
a tragedy in which some friend of yours plays a part, 
Tou know nothing whatever about this, yet later on you 
receive from this friend a letter, telling you of the de- 
tails of the tragedy in question. Your vision has proved 
correct. It is authentic and "supernormal" in char- 
acter. Thus you will see that crystal-visions are more 
than mere empty visions or hallucinations. The char- 
acter and content of these pictures often convey striking 
information and they may be telepathic, clairvoyant or 
premonitory, — just as dreams are, — or they may repre- 
sent genuine spirit messages, conveyed from some 
deceased friend or relative. It is no unknown thing 
to see words written in the ball as though you were 
reading handwriting. A friend of mine once looked 
into her crj-stal ball and saw within it a newspaper 
notice of the death of her dearest friend. She was 
totally ignorant of the fact and only learned it later 
on. This same lady who is a writer, has the power of 
projecting or placing in the crystal, at will, figures or 
scenes which she conjures up before her and when they 
are in the ball, they will continue acting out the parts 
assigned to them, just as they would in a dream, — for 
the figures seen in the crystal are not inert and motion- 
less, but move about and appear to have life and motion 
of their own. On many occasions when this lady placed 
the characters of a novel she was writing into the crystal 
by an effort of will, she was enabled to see them there, 
and they frequently enacted certain scenes which gave 
her a good idea for the continuation of the plot of the 
story I 



152 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

Id such a case, you will see, crystal-gazing perfonned 
a very useful and practical service. 

HOW TO de:velop the power 
You may develop the power of visualizing in your- 
self, wMch is extremely important, by such simple imagi- 
nation-exercises as the following: Ask yourself a ques- 
tion, such as "What was the colour of Mother Hubbard's 
dog!" "Was Jack, the Giant-killer, dark or fairl" 
"Was Helen of Troy tall, or small and slenderT' Such 
questions as these should bring up before your mind's 
eye an immediate answer in the form of a mental pic- 
ture of the person or event in question, and if they do 
not do so, you may be sure that your power of visualizing 
is not good and will have to be developed before you 
can have clear crystal visions. If your power of visualiz- 
ing is extremely good you will probably be enabled, 
after a certain length of time, fo dispense with the 
ball altogether, and see your visions upon a white or 
black background, by concentrating upon it, and 6nally 
anywhere in space that you may choose to induce them. 
When you have arrived at this stage of development, 
however, you are very far along the path of successful 
mediumship j 

CU)ODING AND VISUAUZATION 

If you are to obtain crystal visions you will probably 
notice that, just before the vision appears, the ball will 
cloud over as though a blackish grey mist were filling 
it, or were interposed between your eyes aud it. This 
"clouding," as it is called, is well known and is a symp- 
tom of oncoming visions. 

If, after sitting for five minutes every day for a couple 



CRYSTAL-GAZING 153 

of weeks, you do not obtain any visions at all, you 
may rest assured that you are a very poor visualizer, 
and will probably not succeed in this direction. 

Tou might try, however, one simple experiment for 
a few days longer. Gaze at a bright and highly coloured 
object upon which the light is falling for about a min- 
ute; then close your eyes for a few seconds, and then 
look at the ball. If you are ever to see anything you 
should, after a few attempts, see within the ball a dupli- 
cate of the object you have been looking at, in its com- 
plementary colours. 

It is asseried by a certain school of occultists that the 
visions seen within the crystal are not invariably sub- 
jective or hallucinatory, but are real entities, and that 
the figures have an independent existence apart from 
the seer. This, however, is a complicated question which 
is unsuitable for a primary book of instruction upon 
psychic development such as the present. It will there- 
fore be omitted from consideration with this brief men- 
tion, 

SHELL HEARIKQ 

If you place to your ear two large conch-shells, you 
will hear a peculiar rushing or roaring sound as of the 
sea in the far distance. This is only natural and prob- 
ably due to the air within its cavities and the resound- 
ing properties of the various curves of the shell. So 
far all is simple enough, but many persons, who are 
slightly psychic, as soon as they place the shells to their 
ears, bear distinct and characteristic sounds, usually 
in the form of whispered or spoken words. These words 
may be inarticulate, they may be incoherent like dreams, 
they may repeat your own name time after time, or they 
may convey systematic and definite messages. 




154 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

As in the case of Crystal-Gazing, Dreams and Auto- 
matic-Writing, Shell-Hearing is a method of "exter- 
nalizing," or expressing in outward form, the thoughts 
and auditory messages of the subconscious mind. 
they may be more than this. They may at times 
body telepathic, clairvoyant or premonitory messages, 
or they may represent genuine spirit communicatiou, 
It all depends on the content of the message, and upon 
the character of the word spoken, just as in Planchette- 
Writing. If you obtain a jumble of nonsense you may 
be sure that it is the product of your own subconscious 
activity, but if you obtain a cliaracteristic and direct 
message, you may have reason to believe it emanates 
from the friend it purports to proceed from. In Shell- 
Hearing it is the same. 

IMPORTANT WARNINGS AND ADVICE 

If the messages are nonsensical they should be dis- 
regarded; if on the other hand they are interesting, 
clear-cut and are proved to be correct, you should regard 
them as possibly genuine mediumistic messages and they 
should be judged and valued by you accordingly. 

In all cases of this character, here as elsewhere, you 
must use your own critical judgment and common-sense 
upon the messages you receive. Shell-Hearing is cer- 
tainly one of the clearest, at the same time one of the 
most pleasant methods of receiving communications that 
can be employed. The voices which you hear may be 
recognizable or unrecognizable. It is the former that 
are a good proof of authenticity. They may develop 
by themselves or emerge from a confused babble of 
sound. Unrecognized voices will often utter warnings 
or convey information of this character. Human voices 



CRYSTAL-GAZING 



155 



are not alwajs beard in the shell, but occasional mnsicat 
aud other sounds which can not easily be described. 

Finally, an important warning should be heeded. If 
after discontinuing Shell-Hearing, you continue to "hear 
voices" you should immediately drop all experiments for 
some days, as this phenomenon of "insistent voices" 
is one of the first symptoms of danger. As long as 
the manifestations are well controlled, you may feel 
that you are on the safe road, and developing as you 
should; but if they begin to get beyond your control, 
you should stop Shell-Hearing for some time, until you 
have strengthened your inner self, to such an extent, 
that you think it advisable to continue experimenting 
again in this direction. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

SPIRITUAL HEALINQ 

Spiritual Healing means that mentally or physically 
sick persons may be, and are, healed by the power of 
a spiritual energy, operating through the body of a 
certain medmra, or more or less directly, without his 
agency. It is distinct from hypnotism, mesmerism, mag- 
netic healing, faith-eure, mind-cure, or any other kind 
of healing whatever, and must not be confused with 
them. All these other curative measures depend upon 
suggestion, or upon the hidden and unknown powers 
of the human body to effect the cure. But spiritual 
healing is more direct ; it is not tlie medium who heala 
in this case, but a form of spiritual energy, which 
operates through him. 

WHAT IS SPIBITUAL IIEALINO ? 

Spiritual healing is effected in various ways, as the 
following definitions, adopted by the National Spirit- 
ualists' Association, will show: 

" (a) By the spiritual influences working through the 
body of the medium and thus infusing curative, stimu- 
lating and vitalizing fluids and energy into the diseased 
parts of the patient's body. 

"(b) By the spiritual influences illuminating the 
brain of the healing medium, and thereby intensifying 
the perception of the medium so that the case, nature 
and seat of the disease in the patient become knowu to the 



SPIRITUAL HEALING 



157 



medium ; and the herb or other remedy which will benefit 
the patient also becomes known to the medium. 

" (c) Through the application of absent treatments, 
■whereby spiritual beings combine their own healing 
forces with the magnetism and vitalizing energy of the 
medium, and convey them to the patient who is distant 
from the medium, and cause them to be absorbed by the 
system ot the patient." 

It will be seen that these definitions not only cover the 
facts of spiritual healing, but also absent treatment 
and psychic diagnosis. 

Advice is given on nmnerons occasions by the 
"spirits," as to the exact course of treatment to be 
followed. From all this it will be seen that spiritual 
healing is not only very different from any other kind 
of healing: but that it is also far more inclusive and 
more wonderful 



HOW CUBES ARE EFFECTED 

The principle upon which spiritual healing is said 
to be based is simply this: A certain vital and mag- 
netic energy is contained in every living body. In 
health, this is large in quantity, and in disease this stock 
becomes depleted. Ordinarily, the only way to recover 
this lost vitality and energy is to rest, sleep and take 
such care of the body and mind that this vital energy 
again fills and rechai^a it to the same extent as before. 
But this is a slow and uncertain process. It is, however, 
the only sure way we know. Stimulants, etc., which 
apparently add strength to the body, do not do so in 
reality; they abstract it faster. When we expend it 
faster, we are under the delusion that we are "stronger ' ' ; 
but ultimately we are weaker. 



158 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



In the case of spiritual healing, od the other hand, 
it is very different. Vital energy is imparted to the 
system from without; it fills the nerve-centres and lit- 
erally adds new life to the whole body. These nerve- 
centres being aroused, the various functions of the body 
are stimulated in turn, and in this manner the patient 
is cured, 

THE COSMIC, VITAL ENEKGY 

This vital energy which is imparted by means of 
spiritual healing is a great Cosmic power, which per- 
vades the whole Universe. It is everywhere; it is back 
of every phenomenon: "In it we live and move and 
have our being." It is illimitable in extent and in 
power; we simply have to draw upon it to the extent 
we can; and the more we can "draw," the more rapidly 
do we become well ; the speedier the cure. There is 
no reason to suppose that, if we could "tap" this great 
Reservoir in the right way, we should not become well 
instantly — and indeed there are many cases of this 
character, where, apparently, this has been done — in- 
stances of so-called "miraculous cures" being of this 
nature. We must learn to tap the source of spiritual 
energy, and when we have reached this inexhaustible 
fountain, then health and strength are ours! 

"healing miracles" 
The facts of spiritual healing are as old as history. 
The "laying on of hands" was one of the most an- 
cient modes of treatment, and was employed by the 
Egyptians. Christ employed it frequently. When a 
woman touched the hem of his garment, and be "per- 
ceived that the virtue had gone out ot him," he doubt- 




SPIRITUAL HEALING 



159 



less felt a loss nf the precious vital magnetism, by means 
of which he efEected his marvellous cures. The healing 
miracles in the New Testament are full of casea of this 
character; and in our own day we often read of won- 
drous cures, effected by those who have somehow learned 
to come in touch with a Higher Power, — some source 
of enei^ not available lo all of lis.— and to draw upon 
it for the purposes of their "healing miracles." 

To a certain extent, doubtless, we draw upon thia 
fund during our sleep; but it may be drawn upon in 
far larger quantities by those who have the secret of 
bow to do so. Some spiritual healers can do this; but 
discarnate spirits can apparently direct and manipulate 
this vital energy far more effectively and to better pur- 
pose, for the reason that, living as they do in the world 
of spiritual energy, — ^they understand more of its laws, 
and can better control and govern them. Hence they 
can effect a cure, very often, when every other means 
baa failed. 



POSSIBLE EXPLANATION OP SUCH CUBES 

While it is true that most cures depend upon this 
vitalizing magnetic current, it is possible that in certain 
cases, actual physical transformations are effected. 
There arc many cases on record in which actual tissue 
has been replaced, apparently instantaneously, by some 
extraordinary means. In these cases, it is possible that 
the spiritual energy has actually built up a part of the 
body, out of matter and the vital forces which were em- 
ployed, — "materialized" it, in fact — and left this part 
of the body whole and sound, as before. To those 
who believe in the reality of materialization — that hu- 
man bodies of flesh and blood can be built up out of 



160 YOUR PSYCHIC POWBRS 

invisible elements — ^there is nothing incredible in tliia 
suggestion. But it is only advanced as a tentative and 
possible explanation of certain facts which have, to date, 
received no explanation whatever. 

HOW TO DBAW UPON THE COSMIC EMQtGT 
The great qnestion is: How are we to draw upon 
this great store of enei^ I If we are alone, how effect 
a cure within ourselves T And if you are a medium, 
how cultivate and develop the power of drawing upon 
this Cosmic Energy, to such an extent that cures may 
thereby be effected through or by the means of your in- 
strumentality ! 

Let us tafee the former question first. We will sup- 
pose you are alone, with no one near to help you. 
You desire to be helped and cured by spiritual means. 
What are you to doT 

In the first place, you must learn how to relax. If 
your muscles are tense and rigid, you will never receive 
any influx of spiritual energy. You shut it out, since 
the receptive attitude is the only one in which this energy 
can be obtained. So you must insure complete muscu- 
lar relaxation. It may be obtained as follows: Lie on 
a hard couch, with no support for the head. Relax all 
over as completely as possible. Then think of your 
neck. You will probably find it tense and stiff, when 
your attention is turned upon it, and that you are hold- 
ing your head on your shoulders! Relax it — allowing 
the head to sink into the couch and support it. When 
you have done this thoroughly, think of your right arm, 
and relax that; then the left arm, then the right leg, 
then the left leg, and finally the whole trunk. After 
you have encircled the body in this way two or three 



SPIRITUAL HEALING 161 

times, you will be well relaxed; and you must then 
begin your breathing exercises. 

Breathe slowly and regularly, inhaling from the 
diaphragm, not the chest. Breathe through the nose, 
as before explained. Keep up these breathing exercises 
for five minutes, expanding the lungs, and seeing to it 
that you have plenty of fresh air. This will be quite 
enough for the first day or two, and it is inadvisable to 
try any more. You will arise refreshed and invigorated, 
as the result of your exercise. 

PROGRESSIVE EXERCISES 

On the third day, you may begin your mental prac- 
tices when breathing. "With every breath you take in, 
think to yourself, "I am power; I am strength; I 
am health; I am well!" etc. Keep this up for three 
or four minutes, concentrating upon it, and really be- 
lieving it. Then rest quietly for a minute or two; then 
quietly and hopefully call upon this Spiritual Energy 
to cure you. Remember the more completely you can 
give yourself up to the influences which come to help 
and cure you, the more completely and rapidly will you 
be cured. Send out a mental call for help and assistance, 
and it will surely come to you ! 

THE FUNCTION OP THE VITAL BODY 

Spiritual healing depends, very largely, upon the fact 
that the physical body can be acted upon, and influenced, 
from higher spheres and planes of activity, through or 
by means of the vital or etheric body, which inhabits 
the physical body. This inner body acts as a sort of me- 
dium or vehicle, through which the cosmic energy flows ; 
and the problem is to connect-up this inner body both 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



with the physical body on the one hand, and with the 
great reservoir of spiritual energy on the other. 

It must be admitted that we do not know exactly bow 
this is done, in the present age of the world's spiritoal 
evolution. If we did, we should be enabled to perform 
almost "miraculous cures," instantly, resembling those 
of Christ, who doubtless possessed a wonderful knowl- 
edge of these laws. If the law is to be discovered at 
all it is doubtless along these lines. Experiment there- 
fore ; and when you hit upon certain positive results, you 
may be sure that you have discovered a portion of the 
Great Truth. Do not assume, however, on that account, 
that you have the Whole Truth for you will make a great 
mistake if you do. 

HOW TO BECOME A SPIRITUAL HKALER 

Now let us suppose that you are a medium, and that 
you are treating some one else. You desire to gain this 
power and to obtain assistance from the spirit world. 
This is how you should proceed. 

You must first of all see to it that you are in good 
phj-aical health. If you are not, your vital magnetism is 
apt to be tainted and injure the patient. Further, as 
you often draw the patient's ills from his body into 
yours, you must be in good health to do this. Next, your 
mind mu-'rt be receptive, sj-mpathetic and in an attitude 
of kindly helpfulness. If you feel selfish this at once sets 
up a barrier or wall, which you will be unable to break 
through. Finally, your psychic sensitiveness and me- 
diumship must be developed, to a certain extent, to enable 
you to practice this "phase" with any hope of success. 
The methods which you must follow to increase your 
mediumistic power have been explained in some of the 



SPIRITUAL HEALING 



163 



previous chapters, and will be more fully explained in 
those which follow. 

Now, assuming that you have your patient before you. 
Place your hands on his forehead, and make gentle 
strokings. Then place one hand on his forehead and one 
on his solar plexus. Take a number of deep breaths, 
asking your patient to close his eyes and breathe with 
you, in perfect rhythm. In this way you get into unison 
and sympathy. Then make yourself negative, and ask 
the Spirtual Power to come and help and assist you in 
your process of cure. Make yourself a channel for it. 
You will feel tingling sensations in your arras, and the 
patient will fpcl them in his body. This is the beginning 
of the process. Try to find just the right mental and 
spiritual attitude, and power will certainly come. From 
day to day, your ability to draw upon the great Cosmic 
Energy will increase. You will get greater and greater 
power, and as this develops, you will be able to handle 
and control it more and more. Your power as a spiritual 
healer will ia this manner increase from day to day. 





THE CULTIVATION OF SENSITIVENESS 



"SENsmvENESS" means the ability to sense or perceive 
in some subtle manner, auras, impressions and influ- 
ences, either issuing from another living person, or 
from some thing, or emanating from "spirits." In so 
far as a sensitive or medium can sense or feel these influ- 
ences, he is a psychic; and the cultivation of this power 
is, in a sense, the essence of all true progress in medium- 
ship. This is, therefore, one of the most important Lea- 
sons which can be learned, for as you progress in psychic 
sensitiveness, you also progress in mediumship, — other 
things being equal. 

The first chapter of this book was devoted to Devel- 
opment; but that gave oniy the "outward form," as 
it were, of the process; and did not enter in any way 
fully into its essence. We cannot pretend to do so even 
in this chapter, — since the subject is too vast and too 
delicate. But I may take the student some distance 
further along the road, — for, after be has mastered the 
preceding chapters, he will be more enabled to undertake 
these exercises than he was at the beginning of his de- 
velopment. 

HOW TO DISTINCUTSH TRUE FROM FALSE 

One of the greatest difBeuIties, doubtless, in the cul- 
tivation of sensitiveness, is how to distinguish true from 
false — hallucination from reality. At first, this will 
doubtless be next to impossible, and many false steps 




THE CULTIVATION OF SENSITIVENESS 165 

will have to be taken before you find, — from actual bitter 
esperienf^e, — what is true and what is not. But as the 
inner sense becomes developed, you will find that it not 
only gives you the knowledge in question, but that it 
also enables you to distinguish one from the other — 
true from false, and illuminates the whole subject so 
that mistake is almost impossible. This certaiuty, which 
you will then have, cannot be communicated to another; 
it is often impossible to prove to one who does not ex- 
perience this inner vision of reality that what you re- 
ceive M true, none the le.s.s! As Mr. Charles Brent 
says, in his Sixth Sense: "The serious crux is how, 
in the realm of the spiritual and the physically intan^- 
ble, to distinguish between the real and the seeming, the 
true and the false. This is the function of the Mystic 
Sense to do, aided by the full complement of inner 
facnltiea. In a measure the Mystic Sense, like the bodily 
senses, acts automatically, but like them it needs special 
training in order to separate phantasm from reality, to 
determine values, and to grade and classify ideals until 
they reveal themselves to be ordered unity, not less but 
more mysterious because more intelligible ... to the 
whole man." It is because of all this that long training 
in psychic development is neees!»ry ; and sudden jumps 
or leaps into full possession of this knowledge is im- 
possible. 



THE FIRST STEP 

The first thing to do, in cultivating your inner sensi- 
tiveness, is to stimulate your physical senses to the point 
of their highest activity. Endeavour to perceive and 
feel vibrations unfelt by others, — for much depends upon 
vibration. Train your senses. Then train yourself in 




YOUR PSTCHIC POWERS 



seeing auras and in psychometry, as before explained, — 
in this way getting further along the road. Try to see 
and to feei the emanation coming from people you meet; 
look at them steadily, and see whether yon cannot dis- 
cover a sort of hot air or vaporous emanation issuing 
from their bodies, and radiating out into space. As soon 
as you have succeeded in this, begin to analyse your 
feelings and emotions, and interpret them. Do this, 
(1) when you touch the person in question; (2) when 
you receive a letter from him, which you should hold in 
your hand — or between both hands; (3) when you hear 
him speah; and (4) when you merely see him. When 
trying these experiments, assume a "listening" attitude, 
as before explained and breathe slowly and deeply. 
(This breathing must not be too conscious, so as to fake 
your attention, however.) Relax yourself as much as 
possible during this period. Try in the dark or semi- 
dark, at first ; in the light later on. 

PSYCHIC ATMOSPHEHE 

When you are walking along the street, cultivate the 
practice of sensing persons, and seeing their aura. You 
will soon be able to feel a sort of air or atmosphere about 
each individual — just as there is a definite air or at- 
mosphere about a house or a town. Thus, a manufac- 
turing town has quite a different "atmosphere" from 
one which is not. You will soon be able to get this, 
in a general manner. 

After you have progressed thus far, you should en- 
deavour to feel any cuts, bruises, pains, etc., which may 
be upon a person's body. You should do this, at first, 
by passing your open hands gently over the surface of 
the body, and, as soon as you come to the spot which is 



THE CULTIVATION OP SENSITIVENESS 167 

sensitive and sore, you will feel a sltgbt pain in your 
own hody in the corresponding place. Before you are 
able to do this with much success, however, you should 
develop certain phases of psyehometry, — as for instance 
the following. 

Make a number of small paper packages, all exactly 
alike in appearance. In these place salt, pepper, mus- 
tard, cloves, nutmeg, sugar, cayenne, etc. Mix these 
all up so that you cannot tell which is which. Now 
practise feeling or handling these until you can tell the 
contents of any given package by merely feeling the 
paper in which it is wrapped. As soon as you have done 
this, you are ready for more advanced practices. 

Having progressed thus far, you are in a position to 
try j-our first experiments in psychical diagnosis. Pass 
your hands over the body of your patient, {who should 
be divested of as many clothes as possible), and if your 
sensitiveness has begun to develop, you will feel a pain 
or some sensation in your hand or arm, or in some cor- 
responding part of your own body, as you reach the 
diseased spot in your patient's body. Cultivate this 
until you can succeed with more or less certainty and 
precision. The more you practise this, the more perfect 
you will become, and the more rapid your advancement 
will be. 

"When you have reached this stage, you must go one 
step further. Having located the seat of the trouble, 
and its general nature, you must seek to know how to 
cure it. Hold the mind in a receptive attitude, when 
doing this, and you will soon begin to receive the distinct 
impression that you must do something for the patient — 
but you will not know as yet u^hat it is. After a little 
time, you will get the distinct impression what to do — 



168 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

to make certain passes or maiiipulat ions, to prescribe 
a certain drug, to apply certain water applications, etc. 
As soon as you have reached this stage, you are on the 
high-road to becoming a successful "spiritual healer," 
and your power will develop with every sitting. It 
would be well for you, at this stage, to sit by yourself 
especially for development in this direction; and added 
power will doubtless be given you with wliieh to work 
your cures, 

PROGRESSIVE EXERCISES IN SELF-DEVELOPMENT 

It may be, however, that you do not care to develop 
your sensitiveness in this direction. You wish only to 
develop it for your own progress, and not for the pur- 
pose of becoming a healer at all. In that case you must 
follow a slightly different method of development — 
though all the exercises we have described will be found 
helpful and advantageous. 

If you desire to cultivate your own sensitiveness, the 
following exercises will be found very useful in this 
connection ; 

1. Try to analyse your own emotions when in the 
presence of (a) a large company of people, and (b) 
a small gathering. You will probably find that your 
impressions are very different, and that a largo crowd 
will give you the impression of being more scattered in 
mind than a small one. In other words, you will begin 
to sense or feel the "mind of the crowd." It is well- 
known that such a thing exists, — for crowds will often 
do things and perform actions which no individual in 
it would perform alone. If you can sense this mind 
of the crowd, your sensitiveness is progressing favour- 
ably and rapidly. 




THE CULTIVATION OP SENSITIVKNESS 169 

2, Stand before a mirror. See whether or not you 
are enabled to perceive any influence coming from your 
reflected image in the mirror. Many sensitive persons 
can do this, and the more sensitive you are, the more 
will you feel this. You will sense a magnetic fluid, com- 
ing from the reflected form in the mirror. 

3. If you are in the habit of sleeping with any one 
regularly, endeavour to analyse the impressions you 
receive from the aura emanating from the body of the 
person with whom you may be sleeping. See whether 
this is positive or negative. Positive aura is slightly 
warm, negative aura is somewhat cold. 



MORE TESTS FOR SENSITIVENESS 

4. Hold your right hand above a mirror ; then the left 
hand. Try to feel whether one hand feels cooler than 
the other; or whether both are of equal temperature. 
The hand which is warmest is on the more positive side 
of the body, 

5. Close your eyes, and have some one make mag- 
netic passes over your head and shoulders. Try to tell 
whether those passes are being made in an upward or 
downward direction. Downward passes are positive or 
sleeping passes; upward passes are negative or waking 
passes. 

6. Procure several metals, — snch as copper, iron, tin, 
zinc, etc. Place your hands over each in turn, and as- 
certain the different impressions you get from each one. 
Then wrap them in separate pieces of paper (making 
all alike in appearance) and see whether you can al- 
ways tell the correct metal from feeling the paper. 
Then place your open hand over the paper, without 
touching it. Next remove your hand gradually further 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and further away, until you are some distance from 
the metal. After a time, you should be enabled to do 
all this from a considerable distance. It is only an ex- 
tension of this power which enables "dowsers" or metal 
and water-finders to locate the whereabouts of metal and 
water under the ground, by walking over the spot, above 
ground, with hands outstretched, or with a divining 
or dowsing rod held in their hands. 

7. Always have flowers in your sleeping room. They 
are a good influence. Analyse the difference between 
your impressions when the flowers are removed; and 
when they are in the room. 

COLOURS AND EMOTIONS 

8. Procure some water-colours and paint solid strips 
of colour on a piece of wliite paper. Make these about 
half an inch broad and three inches long. On one piece 
paint a bright red strip, on another a vivid blue, on 
another emerald green, on another black, etc. Blind- 
fold your eyes, shufBe the papers, and then place your 
hand on the topmost one, and see whether you can tell 
from your impressions what colour you are touching. 
Red will give you a sensation of warmth, light blue of 
cold, etc., — as explained in the chapter devoted to "Col- 
our and Its Interpretation." 

9. Try to cultivate what is known as Sensitiveness 
to "psychic contagion." You must remember that 
thoughts and emotions are just as contagious as diseases ; 
and that you can "catch" them in just the same way! 
"When in the company of other persons, therefore, en- 
deavour to catch or feel their emotions and feelings. 
You will probably get, at first, the thoughts, etc., they 
are expressing ; then those which they are just about to 




THE CULTIVATION OF SENSITIVENESS 171 

express — bo that you "take the words out of their 
mouths." Then you will begin to sense the feelings and 
emotions of the spealser before they are put into words; 
Jinally you will be enabled to appreciate hia whole feel- 
ing and thinking Self, — by a species of intuition or im- 
pression. Endeavour to draw this out of your subject, 
and do not let it come to you without any effort on 
your part. Be active, that is, instead of merely passive. 
In this way lies safety and success. 



THE EXPRESSION OP IMPRESSIONS RECEIVED 

10. Finally, you must teach yourself to express what 
you feel. Often this is most difficult. You may feel 
a thing, and feel inclined to say it, but something seems 
to hold you back until it is too late. Overcome this 
restrictive feeling. It is important you should do so, 
for this is one of the most important things to learn 
in the cultivation of mediumship. When you have 
learned to express your impressions, you have prog- 
ressed far along the Boad. 

These ppaetices in the cultivation of sensitiveness are 
the most valuable you can have as a preparation for the 
cultivation of true mediumship. At the same time, they 
are safe exercises to follow. Practise them, therefore, 
before you attempt any definitely mediumistic exercises; 
and you will be rewarded by a safe and sane increase 
of your inner, spiritual faculties. 




I 



TRANCE 



Trance is a condition into which certain mediums enter 
in order to receive messages and give them in the form 
of speaking or writing. No one knows, at the present 
time, what the medium-trance is, or for that matter, 
any other kind of trance ! Dr. George Moore, in his 
"Use of the Body in Relation to the Mind" says: 
' ' Trance is a state of body sometimes produced in man — 
a condition utterly inexplicable by any principle taught 
in the schools." Prof. William James stated his belief 
that the medium-trance was different from any other 
trance of which we have any knowledge, and this seems 
to be borne out by the fact that spirit-messages are 
given in this condition, as well as telepathic, clairvoyant 
and premonitory messages of all kinds. 

WHAT IS "trance"! 

Both Trance and Catalepsy occur spontaneously; 
both may also be induced artificially by hypnotism. 
Both are mistaken for death, and in many respects they 
are very similar. In Catalepsy the body is rigid, 
whereas in trance this is very rarely the case — this form- 
ing the chief mark of distinction (external indication) 
between the two states. What the internal differences 
are we do not know. Various attempts, however, have 
been made to define them. Dr. Franz Hartmann, e.g., 
thus distinguishes them: "There seems hardly any limit 
to the time during which a person may remain in a 
172 




k 



TRANCE 173 



trance; but catalepsy is due to some obstruction in the 
organic mechanism o£ the body on account of its ex- 
hausted nervous power. In Ibe last case the activity of 
life begins again as soon as the impediment is removed 
or the nervous energy has recuperated its strength." 
("Death: its Causes and Phenomena, " by Hereward 
Carrington and John R. Meader.) 

When a hypnotist places bis subject under hypnotic 
control, the subject remains en rapport with the operator. 
The influence comes from a living person. In the me- 
dium-trance it BCenis probable that the operator is not 
a living but a deceased person, and that it is a kind 
of telepathic influence from spirits which induces this 
state. In fact, it is brought about by influence from the 
"other side." 

LIGHT AND DEEP TRANCE 

There are all grades and degrees of trance, from the 
very light stage, in which there is but little difference 
from the ordinary waking eonscicnisness, to that degree 
of deep trance where the medium is totally unconscious 
of everything that passes around him. Very deep trance 
of this character is rare, but many of the most famous 
mediums have got their best messages while in that con- 
dition. The famous Mrs. Piper of Boston had almost 
to die, to all outward appearances, before she could 
enter this deep trance, and at the end of two hours or 
so, during which the trance la.stcd, the only signs of 
life were slow respiration and heart beat. The only 
signs of consciousness were manifest in the right hand 
and arm which did the automatic-writing. 

Many test-mediums and sensitives, on the other hand, 
pass into a stage of trance so light, that no one but 



174 TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



an expert could detect any trance at all. Yet, in many 
saeii cases, no memory of the condition remains after the 
trance is finished. These light trances differ but slightly 
from cases of day-dreams, absent -miadedness, etc., when 
we say to a person, half in joke: "You are in a trance!" 
By shades and degrees this becomes deeper, as the state 
becomes more profound and lower and lower layers or 
strata of the subconscious mind are reached, Mrs. Piper 
had three distinct "layers" of this character. The first 
differed slightly from the waking state. In this con- 
dition she talked. The second condition was far deeper 
trance and in this stage spirits were seeu instead of 
human beings. In the third or deepest stage speech 
was usually absent and Automatic- Writing occurred. 

SPIMT CONTROL DURING TRANCE 

In trance, we may assume that there is a gradual and 
fluctuating control of the medium's mind and body by 
the communicating spirit, and that, as one vacates or 
is driven out by the invading intelligence, the latter 
is able to control, more and more effectually, the medium. 
Just as "two solid bodies cannot be in the same place 
at the same time," so two spirit intelligences cannot 
occupy and control the same body at the same moment. 

Wlien once the fact of spirit control is granted, the 
uattire and character of this control remains to be solved. 
Soic does the spirit manipulate the brain and nervous 
mechanism of the medium, to bring about the desired 
resultsf What parts of the brain are used, and howt 
These and many similar questions remain to be answered; 
and it may take many years of scientific research before 
we are enabled to answer queries such as these with any 
degree of confidence. 



• 




THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOMNAMBULISM AND TRANCB 

The differencp between Somnambuliam and the 
Medium-Traiifc seems to be that, in the former, we 
remain en rapport with ourselves and in the latter we 
are in touch with the Spirit- World. Many mediums who 
give inspirational messages or lectures from the platform 
are in a condition of light trance, and children have been 
known to pass into this condition and give a large amount 
of vahiablp information, unknown to their seniors, and 
which certainly could not have been known to themselves. 

Properly managed, the trance condition is not harmful, 
though it may become so in the hands of blundering 
persons. "The Spiritualist's Manual" gives four chief 
reasons why the trance state should not be harmful to 
those who enter it. These are: 

VAEIODS METHODS OP CONVETDJa INFORMATION DURDJO 
TRANCE 

(1) The intelligences acting upon them (the mediums) 
are almost invariably of a superior character and there- 
fore must mould the organism by constant use for the 
expression of higher forms of thought. 

(2) The relation of the medium to the manifesting 
intelligence is that of pupil to teacher, sometimes that 
of a child to a wise and loving parent, and sometimes 
both these relations combined with a subtle and ennobling 
spirituality. 

(3) There is always a mutual spiritual relation, evcD 
though the medium is not humanly conscious of it ; and 
no one can be a medium for the perfect expression of 
spiritual messages or discourses who does not consent to 
the procedure and co-operate with the manifesting spirit. 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



(4) As the master-musician improves the inHtmraent 
he plays upon, so also a spirit controlling a human 
organism for the purpose of expressing wholesome 
thought, imparts a greater power both to the brain and 
spirit of the medium. It is often difficult for spirits 
to control a medium sufficiently to manifest in any way 
through him. 

DIFFERENT TYPES OP CONTROL. 

There are various types of control which are used by 
spirits in trance-mediumship. 

(a) There is the telepathic method, in which the 
thought is conveyed direct to the mind of the medium, 
who is sufficiently awake in light trtuice, to receive this 
thought and give it out to the sitter in speech or writing. 

(b) There is the picture or "pictographic" method, 
in which the spirits present certain images or pictures 
to the clairvoyant eye of the medium, and these pictures 
are seen and interpreted either directly or symbolically. 

(c) There is the sense- imp res si on method, in which 
general sensations or impressions are conveyed to the 
medium, who takes on the condition of the communicating 
spirit, describes pains felt in various parts of the body, 
etc., as the case may be. 

(d) There is the direct-control method, in which the 
spirit apparently removes the medium's own spirit more 
or less from the body, in deep trance, and manipulates 
it as he would an instrument, by acting upon the nervous 
system direct, in much the same way that we act upon 
our own nervous systems throughout life. 

This latter method is very rare and is only found in 
cases of very deep trance. Doubtless, there are other 
methods which spirits employ at times and probably com- 




TRANCE 



177 



bine all the above on occasion. But these are the most 
distinctive methods, and they are the ones which may be 
seen more readily than any others in cases of trance. 
mcdiumship. 

Iq cases of so-called "ecstasy" the spirit of the medium 
obtains the information himself, either by clairvoyant 
vision or by partially separating itself from the body 
and visiting the spiritual world direct. The visions 
which are obtained in ecstasy are thus descriptive of 
the spiritual world, and what is happening there, and for 
this reason most of the "Revelations," socalled, are 
ecstatic visions more or less symbolic. 

THE BEST WAY TO ENTEK TEANCE 

Many persons cannot enter trance spontaneously but 
have to be mesmerized by another person before this 
condition is brought about. Even Andrew Jackson 
Davis was mesmerized for years before he could develop 
spontaneous trance, — so that he could enter it at will. 

This may be one of the best ways for the beginner to 
begin his trance-medium.ship, but you should take eare 
that the person who mesmerizes you is of a suitable 
temperament and in every way fitted and qualified to 
do so. If he is not, you are liable to attract to yourself 
spirits of a lower order, and then you will bring to your- 
self lying and malevolent spirits and you may induce 
a case of so-called "obsession." However if the operator 
is harmonious and qualified for his task, he will not only 
prevent this, but would see you through more safely than 
if you entered this condition spontaneously and by your- 
self. 

Trance is very closely akin to some eases of suspended 
animation, to certain Toga trauce conditions aud even 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



death haelf, vhieh has been called its "twin brother." 
As we have seen, however, it differs from all these very 
widely. Spontaneoos tranee is doubtless the most com- 
monly eipterieneed and b the one which yon should 
endeavour to cultivate in yourself, — other things being 
equal. 

I>uring these conditions — as you develop — ^many odd 
and striking phenomena will doubtless become manifest 
to you. If your hand writes automatically, you will 
probably note that it becomes more or less sensitive or 
anssthetic, as explained in the chapter on Automatic- 
Writing. If speech is induced, as the result of trance, 
this may be striking and coherent, or quite possibly mer« 
nonsense and "gibberish." If the latter develops you 
may be sure that something is wrong, and you should 
strive to ascertain what this condition is, and correct 
it if possible. Here, as elsewhere, yon must be careful 
and exercise your own judgment and discretion on the 
messages received, and not to accept all these as absolute 
truth, for if you do, you are likely to be greatly deceived 
— especially at the beginning of your mediumship, where 
everything is faulty and difficult. The clearer the com- 
munications, generally speaking, the surer the messages, 
but those coming through what might be called "Am- 
ateur-Mediums" are to be trusted ouly when they have 
been verified ! 



HOW TO EXPERIMENT WTTH THE TRANCE 

You may experiment with your own tranee-eondition 
profitably in the following manner: — Sit with pencil in 
hand for Automatic-Writing, and induce one or more 
friends of yours to do the same thing at the same time. 
See whether there is any connection between your writ- 



TRANCE 



179 



inps, when they arc compared the next day. In many 
instances, where this has been tried, striking coincidental 
messages have been received, partly through one medium 
and partly through another. They thus tend to confirm 
each other and show that the same spirit intelligence is 
active and manifesting through both mediums at the 
same time, almost, — or one directly after the other. 

HOW TO ENTER TRANCE BY YOORSELP 

In order to induce trance spontaneously in yourself 
you shotild proceed, more or less as follows: — Begin by 
gazing for some time at a bright object, such as a reflected 
light, coming from a mirror, crystal-ball, etc. This will 
tend to tire the eyes and ner\'es slightly, and bring about 
a dazed condition which is usually the beginning of 
trance. While looking at the bright object, breathe 
deeply and regularly through the nose and from the 
diaphragm, as explained before in Chapter VI. Tou 
must not let this distract your attention, however, as all 
the bodily processes should be unconscious. If you have 
already practised deep breathing, as before explained, 
you should by this time be so far advanced that you can 
do so at will without consciously thinking of it. 

While looking at the bright object, do not concentrate 
or think of any1;hing in particular, beyond keeping your- 
self conscious and remembering all the time that you 
are "yourself," that you are not leaving your body and 
that you are not going to become totally unconscious. 

During this process the room should be as quiet as 
possible, though some monotonous sound such as the 
ticking of a large clock, might assist matters. Do not 
listen to this consciously, however; abolish all feelings 
of fear and all anxiety, as such mental states will 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



effectually prevent you from enlering the trance con- 
dition. "Let yourself go" and develop as far as possible. 

SYMPTOMS OF EARLY TEANCE- MEDIUM SHIP 

You must not imagine that the beginnings of your 
mediumship will be either profitable or pleasant, because 
they probably will not be. Nearly all successful mediums 
will tell you that they have passed through a period, at 
the beginning of their mediumship, when they thought 
themselves in danger, and believed that their minds were 
being impaired for the time being. This, however, passes 
off as you progress,— provided that you progress along 
the right road at the beginning of your mediumship, and 
this you should endeavour in every way to do. If you 
can consult an experienced medium or, still better, if yon 
can sit with him during your development, or induce him 
to be present during your psychic unfoldment, things 
will be far easier for you and far safer than they would 
be otherwise. 

The oncoming of trance is often signified by certain 
physical and psychical manifestations, which must not 
alarm you when they appear. — as they sometimes but 
not always do. Hiccoughs, sudden and spasmodic pains 
and cramps, a feeling of "all-goneness," nausea, flashes 
of light, or the sensation of faintness and that everything 
is turning black before you — these are a few of the 
symptoms which you are liable to experience during your 
early development; and, though they may not be pleas- 
ant, you had better be warned of them in advance, and 
not be alarmed when they appear. 

Sometimes, however, none of these signs arc manifest 
— only a delightful sensation of falling asleep upon a 
bed of roses. In these cases, the psychic has developed 





TRANCE 



181 



himself properly and Hystematically, and his guides or 
controls are also wise and helpful. These are the for- 
tunate — but unhappily rare cases; but it is hoped that, 
by following the advice given in this book, many more 
will be enabled to develop in this wholesome manner. 

THE THBEE RUIJS TO FOLLOW 

There are three chief and most essential factors to be 
considered : — 

(!) Tour mental and physieal health must be quite 
up to the standard. If you are depleted, exhausted, 
or "run down" physically, if you are suffering from any 
disease, or if, on the other hand, you are full of fear, 
apprehension and doubts, or if anger and similar 
thoughts rage in your soul, you may anticipate a difficult 
time in your development and unpleasant experiences 
throughout that slow process. 

(2) You should be careful to keep your self -conscious- 
ness active and alert when entering trance. Do not 
give yourself up completely or allow the mind to become 
a blank at first. Give yourself up in ever;- other way 
but this. You muat always keep in the background of 
your mind the thought: — "I am I ... I am so-and-so 
(your name) ... I will remain in my body. ... I am 
strength and power ... I will not be influenced against 
my vill by forces other than good. ... I can always 
return to mj'self when I want to." These and similar 
suggestions you must give to yourself, and hold them in 
your mind as a central point of force while entering 
trance, even when allowing yourself to become passive 
in every other way. If you do this, you will avoid a 
great deal of difficulty and danger. 

(3) If you can in any way assure yourself that you 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



have a band of spirits or controls "on the other side" 
who are ready and willing to help you, this wouM mean 
much. A good medium or clairvoyant could probably 
tell you whether this is the case, and the nature of the 
iatelligences who are trying to influence and act upon 
you. U these are described as evil, you had best post- 
pone your development until this condition changes. If, 
on the contrary, they are described as good and helpful, 
you may proceed, subject to the above precautions and 
advice. 

IMPORTANT CONDITIONS TO BE FOLTTLLED 

It is important to have a plentiful supply of fresh air 
in the room when entering trance, and after you are in 
that condition. Also the light should be so regulated 
as to affect you most agreeably. This may be semi- 
darliuess, though many trance-mediums develop in full 
light. Soft music may be found beneficial in some cases, 
though not in all. 

You should have everything ready to band — such as 
pencils, paper, etc.— before you enter the trance-condi- 
tion. During the trance-state you will probably be more 
or less sensitive to objects placed in your hands, — 
that is, you will be enabled not only to psychometrize 
them, but, in connection with the objects given you, 
you will get spirit-messages and information concern- 
ing the individuals to whom they formerly belonged. 
All objects of this character carry the aura or influence 
of the person with whom they have come into contact, 
and, for this reason, those objects which have been next 
the skin, are the best for this purpose: gloves, bead- 
bands, etc., are especially valuable. These should be 
wrapped, as before explained, in oil-silb, and they should 




be handled as little as possible after the death of the 
person to whom tbey belonged. 

DEVELOPING EXERCISES 

A very good practice in developing trance-medium- 
ship in yourself is to cultivate the habit of analysing 
your own "falling asleep" process. Try to catch your- 
self as you fall asleep and hold on to yourself when 
in this semi-sleeping condition as long as you can, before 
finally dropping off to slumber. This you will find very 
difficult at first, but it can be mastered more or leas in 
time. 

If you can succeed in catching yourself in this man- 
ner, when nearly asleep, and retaining a certain degree 
of conscious control, you may rest assured that you will 
not only be a good trance-medium, but that you will 
be able to protect yourself while in the trance-state, 
and that harm can hardly come to you when in this 
condition. 

This is a very excellent practice and has given many 
psychics that power over themselves which they formerly 
lacked. 

Spiritual repose is essential for the trance-medium 
who would develop simply, harmonionsly into practical 
and wise mediumahip. In this manner, you are said 
to come in tune or harmony with the great Cosmic Cur- 
rents of truth and wisdom which flow hither and thither 
in our world, and to and fro from the Spiritual Source 
of love, wisdom and intelligence. Once get into har- 
mony with this stream, and your progress, not only as 
a medium, but as a Supreme Psychic, is assured. 



CHAPTER XXI 
INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKING AND TEST- 



UESSAGES 



Inspirational speaking depends partly upon the activity 
of your own subconscious mind and partly upon the 
amount of help you receive from the spirit world. 
In speaking before public audiences for the first few 
times, you had best think over what you are to say and 
prepare your talk a little in advance, then depend upon 
the help and inspiration you receive for the elaboration 
of these notes, which you have made. As you progress 
you will find that less and less of this preparation is 
necessary, and after a time you will be enabled to dis- 
pense with it altogether, and know nothing more of 
the subject of your discourse than the mere title. 

ON THE HOSTRUM 

When on the rostrum, you can close your eyes and the 
discourse, more or less eloquent, will flow from your 
lips. When you are still more advanced, you will be 
enabled to allow persons in the audience to choose sub- 
jects, and you will then be able to talk upon these at 
great length and often with a profundity of knowledge 
and beauty of style which surprises not only yourself 
but your auditors. Many of the best and most profound 
object lessons and instructions have been received is 
this manner, and much of the philosophy of Spiritualism 
has been propounded and explained in this way. 

Test-Messages are of a somewhat different order and 
are given in a different manner. They relate to persons 



184 



d 



TEST-MESSAGES 185 

in the audience or to objects brought by those persons, 
and the information concerns not an abstract subject or 
theme, but individuals connected with the person to 
whom the message is given. It concerns spiritual per- 
sonalities more directly than spiritual truth, and though 
both may have their origin in friendly helpers, they are 
nevertheless given for different purposes and in a dif- 
ferent manner. 



A very good way to begin training both for Inspira- 
tional-Speaking and Test-Messages is the following, 
which Dr. B. B. Schleusner — an able trance and test 
medium — personally followed in his development, and 
which he found gave most satisfactory results. 

In writing of this, Dr. Schleusner says: 

"First of all I ask some one in the audience to speak 
to me a set or formal sentence, such as: 'Doctor, help 
me,' or 'Doctor, reach me.' From this I receive certain 
impressions which I analyse somewhat as follows : 

"1. I can tell from the sound of the voice whether 
it is harsh and grating or whether it is soft, gentle and 
taarmonious, and from this the character of the speaker 
may be more or less diagnosed. Also the voice will tell 
me whether the person is nervous and irritable, or self 
contained and controlled : whether the person is angry, or 
is sceptical and merely asking for a teat. Further the 
voice will tell me whether the person is weak or strong, 
positive or negative, sensitive or the reverse. These 
sre the physical properties of the voice, so to speak, and 
from them I gather certain information more or less 
instantaneously and subconsciously aa to the sitter and 
his attitude. 



186 



TOUR PSTCmC POWBBS 



OCXACBS AXD AWlS 

"2. In addition to this I receive, ia eomieetioD 
his voice, certain psydiic impressioQ& These take 
form of auras or eoloorg drawn up in dondy pillar-like 
forma These eoloure I interpret symboUcallv (accord- 
ing to the interpretations outlined in the chapter devoted 
to Colour and Its Interpretation). Thus if I see before 
me a dirty slate-giey I say that the conditions before 
me are at present very unfaToorable and depresdng, 
and if. just beyond this, I see a yellowish golden rim, 
I state that the immediate future prospects will be 
much brighter and better and that the person in ques- 
tion may ebeer np, as better conditions are coming, etc. 

"Besides this colour, which is drawn up before me 
in this form, as the result of the physical vibration of 
the voice, and which seems to be caused by it, I always 
see another series of colours and auras ia another place, 
some distance from the first in space, which I compare 
with the former set and see whether or not they agree. 
After seeing the first set of colours I close my eyes for 
a moment, then open them and look at the second set. 
If they are found to agree with one another, I know 
that my first impressions are correct, and I then state 
openly that sueh and such conditions are so. My own 
experience has been that if these two sets of auras agree 
with one another (those which are produced by the 
voice and those which are apparently shown me by my 
spirit -guides) the diagnosis or psychic impression is cor- 
rect, and I am very seldom wrong in my statement of 
the fact. 

TTTFTR IKTEBFBETATION 

"Let OS go back for a moment to the impression re- 
ceived by the heavy leaden grey colour. Suppose this 



with 1 
; the 1 



TEST-MESSAGES 187 

is the colour seen; this indicates depression. Having 
arrived thos far, the question is: how to get out of tliis 
condition. That is suggested partly by coramou sense. 
Ilaving proposed this question to myself I close my eyes 
and look at a different place in space. In this third 
place I then see presented to my psychic sight a sjTnbol. 
This symbol tells me how to escape from the present 
difficulty. After I have explained the symbol, and in- 
terpreted it to the best of ray ability, I then look back 
at the colours and see whether or not they have changed. 
If they have become brighter, then I know that this 
is the correct path to follow, and that good will result 
from the course of action advised. If there is no change, 
I state that things will continue for some time to come 
in this depressed condition, and that the best that can 
be done for the time being, is to hope and work on 
patiently. 

HOW TO INCREASE YOUB POWER 

"These auras, colours and symbols may be impeded 
or shut off by certain psychic conditions on the part 
of the sensitive. For example: Tou may hold on to 
them too tightly, as it were, and this tenacious grasp 
for too long a time will have the effect of shutting them 
off altogether. You must learn to let go as soon as the 
symbol has been perceived, or the colour seen, 

' ' As these colours are presented to you, you may, how- 
ever, see a change going on, and in that case you should 
vatch it intently and see what the change may be. Thug, 
grey may change to white, as a sign of spirituality, and 
you can state that the person is becoming more spiritual 
and changing his point of view in life, clinging to his 
ideals, etc., and that if he continues to do so success 
will reward him. 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

"If you see tinges of golden yellow, you may be sure 
that the individual in question is cultivating his intellect 
and that he is independent in thought and a more or 
less clever, intellectual person. 

GETTING HELP PROM SPIRIT GUIDES 
"In addition to these colours and symbols, other phe- 
nomena may occur. Thus, in my own case, I always see 
my guides who stand by my side telling me what to 
say. If I speak aloud just what they tell me, it is 
usually correct. If I endeavour to elaborate or extend 
it, it is often wrong. This is an error which should 
be avoided. Thus: they may say 'three.' This may 
mean three minutes, three hours, three days, three weeks, 
three months, three years, etc. At the time I hear the 
figure I do not know what its meaning is. I therefore 
say to the person receiving the message: 'My guides 
say to me "three" ' and I then wait for further informa- 
tion. 

"As explained in the lesson on 'Symbolism,' the dif- 
ference between the two consists in distinction between 
impression and expression. I receive the impression eor- 
rectly but must be careful not to give it wrong expression. 
What one should do, therefore, is to wait for further im- 
pressions before expressing anything. In such a ease as 
the above I would, after hearing the word 'three' spoken, 
turn to my guide and ask what the three signified. On 
receiving an answer, I would state this also, and then 
go back for further information, etc. If you proceed 
in this manner you will rarely go wrong. 

"The more anxious you are to receive psychic im- 
pressions and to give tests, the more fluctuating or 
changing will your impressions be. The colours of the 





TEST-MESSAGES 



auras will keep changing, and often you will see them 
constantly varying around any object placed on your 
table, whereas if you were in a calmer frame of mind, 
these colours would appear stationary. Endeavour, 
therefore, in every way possible to control your appre- 
hension and anxiety in giving public tests of this nature. 



IMPORTANT RULES TO FOLLOW 

"One very good method in giving tests to the public 
is to endeavour to force your clairvoyant perception 
before asking aid of your spirit friends. Thus, suppose 
some member of the audience asks the question 'How 
is my mother!' Instead of waiting for a direct im- 
pression, in this case I should say in reply to this: 'I 
will first try to find your mother and describe her. If 
I can do this I will proceed with the test.' This ia far 
more satisfactory both to the speaker and to yourself, 
I now force myself, so to speak, clairvoyantly ; and 
Senerally in a few moments the form of a lady arises 
before me which I describe to the speaker in as ranch 
detail as possible, giving also her surroimdings and the 
description of any other persons I see with her at the 
time. If this description is incorrect and not recognized, 
I then ask whether the description suits any other person 
known to the speaker — any person through whom the 
mother might be reached. If they reply in the affirma- 
tive, I then endeavour to find the mother clairvoyantly 
and, if I cannot do this, I ask my guides to give me any 
information they can regarding her, without this vision. 
If, on the other hand, the test is not recognized, I drop 
it and proceed to another case, as I know that I can 
get nothing definite for this individual. Instances 
of this character are, however, very rare, amounting 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



probably to not more than 5 per cent, of the teats I give 
in public. 

HOW TO RECEIVE IMPRESSIONS 

"In all inspirational and test-messages, you should 
throw yourself, as completely as possible, upon your 
spirit friends after you have once asked their assistanee, 
and should be as responsive as you can. Do not wait 
for them to hammer any impression into your head 
before you state what it is, but hold yourself rather in 
the attitude of an empty vessel, and imagine a funnel 
in the top of your head into which ideas and impressions 
of all kinds are being poured. As they enter your 
mental and psychic life you should interpret and express 
them as best you can." 

The foregoing is an exact account of Dr. Schleusner'a 
method of delivering Public Tests, a careful study of 
which will doubtless prove helpful to the earnest stu- 
dent; and, I believe, will result in a corresponding de- 
gree of development in all like cases. 



CHAPTER XXII 
MORE AND LESS DEVELOPED SPIRITS 



i 



Inasmuch as we are said to be "spirits" here and now, 
— just as mucli as we ever will be, — we should begin the 
course of progressive development here in this life, which 
we intend to follow later. Anything we learn here 
will doubtless help us in any future development what- 
ever that may be. Wisdom, knowledge, understanding, 
sympathy and penetration of perception will all help, 
assist and advance ua, no matter what world we may 
inhabit or whatever its nature may be. This being the 
case, we should endeavour to develop our own inner 
nature here and now, as suggested especially in the 
chapter on "Self and Soul Culture," and we should con- 
tinue this, 80 far as lies within our power, even after 
we have crossed the "Great Divide." 

WHY 8TR.\NGEfiS OFTEN COMMUNICATE 

Just as there are all kinds of characters and natures 
in this life, so there are said to be individuals of all 
kinds in the next ; and the unfortunate part of it is that 
many of those who can most easily come back and com- 
manicate, are those on the lowest rung of the ladder, — 
those who are the most earth-bound and belong to the 
lowest strata of society. They are nearer the earth than 
more advanced spirits, more in sympathy with it and 
its vibrations, and their character, being more earthly, 
is naturally more open to receive and send messages 
than those who, when alive, had less sympathy with 
191 



192 



YOUB PSYCHIC POWERS 



the earth and feit less botmd to it. It is for thia 
that "strangers" often commimicate with us more easily 
than oar nearest and dearest, — than our friends or rela- 
tives. The latter may feel for and with us most keenly, 
and may long to communicate, but often obstacles hith- 
erto undreamed of may prevent them from doing so. 
They then find, for the first time and to their aston- 
ishment, that the difQculties of communication are so 
great that they are unable to send messages, however 
much they may desire to do so, and even if they can 
find a medium suitable to receive them. 

THE CONDITIONS FOR COMM0NICATION 

You, on your side, may be receptive to these condi- 
tions, and again you may be unfitted to sense anyibing 
of the tund. The combination of circumstances for the 
transmission of spirit-messages is rare, and, in order 
for these messages to be clear, as we should desire them 
— there must be an effort both on this side and on the 
other, made at the same moment, also there must be the 
"medium." As this combination is naturally lacking, 
in the majority of cases, you can see why it is that au- 
thentic cases of spirit return are, comparatively speaking, 
BO rare and why it is that more persons do not "come 
back." No doubt you have often heard the objection, 
that, if Spiritualism were true, out of all the millions 
of people who have died, wishing to communicate, there 
must be many thousands who could return directly and 
slate clearly what they wished to send! What we have 
said above will explain the reason why this is not the 
case. 

The ability to transmit a message from the other aide 
may be as rare as the ability to receive it on this side. 



1 



MORE AND LESS BEVELOPED SPIRITS 193 

Good commmiicators may be as rare as good artists, 
painters or sculptors. It may be a special faculty which 
we have to develop, and, just as uneducated and igno- 
rant persons often possess extraordinary gifts and tal- 
ents in certain directions, for no reason we can see, 
just so certain individuals may become good mediums 
or communicators, after they have passed over, simply 
by reason of their psychic constitution or make-up. The 
question of the "difficulties of communication" will be 
found fully discussed in Chapter XXIX. 

WHY LOW oa "evil" sprarrs commxjnicatb 
It is because of all this that we often reach or come 
into contact with persons of a low order, in spirit-com- 
munications. Mediums believe that there are tramps 
and "hoboes" on the other RJde, just as much as there 
are in this life. By nature and by instinct they remain 
the same, and they have to be gradually educated and 
trained in order to outgrow their natural instincts. 

And, just as these tramps and hoboes would be insult- 
ing and often disgusting in this life, and would swear, 
curse and do other things unsuitable for the family cir- 
cle, — were they introduced into it, — just so they do the 
same things when they communicate, and get once more 
into the " earth- atmosphere. " 

These are the characters who also harm mediums un- 
consciously by rough handling, so to speak; and by dam- 
aging the delicate nervous organism upon which they 
operate, when sending messages. The best and safest 
way to guard against personalities of this character, we 
are told, is to call to your aid spirit -controls, "guides" 
or advisors who can assist you from the other side, by 
arguing with such personalities, and by removing them 



194 



TOTJH PSYCHIC POWERS 



from >-our aura more or less forcibly, should the occa- 
BioD demand it. There are many cases on record in 
whioh more gentle measures did not bring about the 
required result, and, according to accounts received, ver>' 
forcible methods had to be resorted to, in order to eject 
these strangers, before peace and harmony were finally 
restored! 



HIOB SPIRITS AND THQS HELPTCIj HESBAGIS 
When "spirits" of a higher order come, all this is 
reversed. You then come into contact with spiritual 
natures, and help, comfort, sympathy and sound advice 
are given. When once you are assured of the assistance 
and co-operation of one or more iudiv-iduals of this char- 
acter, your time of tribulation as a medium is more or 
less over, and thenceforward you may depend upon 
steady and harmonious progression and advancement in 
your mediumship. 

You must be careful, however, as to how you receive 
messages claiming to come from exalted personages, as 
great names will often be given when the indi%'iduals 
in question are not there at all. This may be due at 
times to accideut aad misunderstanding: but there is 
also evidence, unfortunately, that lying spirits will re- 
sort to this stratagem to gain your confidence. You 
should, in this case, rely on your own common sense 
and judgment, and insist upon proof of identity and 
direct evidence before you believe that the individual 
in question is really there. 

OUAKDIAN SPIRITS 

There is one "sect" or division of spirits whose office 
and general work and interest is particularly helpful 




MORE AND LESS DEVELOPED SPIRITS 195 

to mortals, and that is the so-called "Guardian Angels" 
or Guides who help, govern and advise friends of theirs 
still in the body. The sympathy and counsel offered by 
these Guardian Spirits is, at times, very great; these 
spirits are said sometimes to prevent accident, suicide 
and even murder by their kindly help and assistance. 
It is one of the most beautiful and inspiring thoughts 
in the Spiritualislic Philosophy to believe that those 
we love are constantly about, helping and cheering us, 
along our hard and narrow way ; and that they see our 
trials and tribulations, and share them with us, just 
as they did on earth. We must feel, too. that they are 
preparing a place for iis and that, when it comes time 
to solve the Great Mystery, we shall find helpful and 
loving assistance, instead of a foreign land, into which 
we shall then enter. 

WHO MAKE THE BEST COMMUNICATOBS I 

Those who possess a simple, open, candid child-like 
nature, are doubtless those who make the best "communi- 
cators," — other things being equal. It is because of this 
that Indians, who lived close to nature, so constantly 
communicate and act as "guides," and doubtless for the 
same reason Negroes are very psychic, and receive many 
psychic phenomena. 

There is a great deal of evidence, also, as we know, 
to show us that animals perceive spirits and psychic 
manifestations, and that they also "sense" phenomena 
more keenly than human beings. Between animals and 
ourselves there is doubtless a link which unites us all 
into one conscious whole, — this being the life of the 
universe which runs through every sentient thing. 

It is not oncommon for "spirits" to return at s 




YODR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and seek the prayers or the help of the living. They 
express themselves as being in trouble and as requiring 
assistance before they can free themselves and proceed 
on their way. This is doubtless an important mission 
to fulfil, and when any wandering and distressed spirit 
makes itself manifest in this way, it should certainly 
be assisted in every way possible iq the fulfilment of 
its desire and the discharge of its burden. 

Many eases of so-called "haunted houses'" doubtless 
exist, because of the persistent inability of the returning 
spirit to make any one present see its wants and attend 
to them. Were a good psychic or medium introduced 
into such a house, who could get into communication 
with the returning spirit, and, when communication had 
been established, help it, — there is no doubt that the 
"haunting" would cease and that the returning spirit 
would be greatly helped in its progress and advancement. 

HAUNTED HOUSES AND "PACTS" 

AH this is especially important in those cases of so- 
called "pacts," where an agreement is made before 
death to appear afterwards, if that be possible. Many 
cases of this character are on record, and, whenever such 
an agreement is made, it is most important that the 
living person on earth should fulfil his part towards the 
fulflbnent of such a plan. By doing so he may assist 
to an extent he perhaps does not realize in freeing the 
spirit's mind from earthly ties and conditions. 

POSSIBLY UNCONSCIOUS MESSAGES 

In considering this question of returning "spirits," 
one final and important fact must not be lost sight of, 
and that is : That messages may often be given through 




MORE AND LESS DEVELOPED SPIRITS 197 

a medium, or directly, of which the spirit himself may 
be totally unconscious. He may think or dream or 
visualize a certain thought or message, and this may be 
reached or "sensed" by the medium, and given forth 
as a conscious and intentional message. The reverse of 
this, however, is true. The mind of the disearnate spirit 
has been read by the medium in trance. His "mental 
pocket has been picked," and he has given nothing volun- 
tarily. Further, his thoughts may have been reflected 
upon a sort of psychic mirror, or atmosphere, and there 
seen and interpreted by the psychic. This, however, is 
a difficult question which will be discussed in a later 
chapter. For the present it should be borne in mind 
that all messages given by mediums need not necessarily 
be direct or intentional. They may merely have been 
obtained indirectly from the person in question, and 
would not be at all the message he would send, were he 
aware of the fact that he was transmitting one. It 
is because of this fact that many o£ the messages appear 
to us so trivial and inconsequential. 



CHAPTER XXIII 
OBSESSION AND INSANITY 



4 



In this chapter, I desire to place before the reader in 
a fair and clear manner facts which are too often neg- 
lected by Spiritualists, but which those who develop or 
become mediums are apt to find out to their cost later 
in their development, unless they arc aware of the facts 
at the beginning. "Tnith is always best," and it is 
accordingly best for the student to tnow the dangers 
and difficulties attendant upon Spiritualism as well as 
the bright side. We do not wish to alarm or divert 
from interest any student by this and the following 
chapters. Precisely the reverse. But inasmuch as "fore- 
warned is forearmed" the student should be familiar 
with all the possible risks he is running; as there are 
such risks if he does not develop his mediumiatic power 
systematically and along the right lines, as so often 
pointed out before in this book. 

THE REALITY OF SPIRIT OBSESSION 

As we saw in the last chapter, it is often easier for 
the low and less developed spirits to come in touch with 
us than those more highly developed ; and this is espe- 
cially the ease where mediumistie development has not 
been such as to bring the student in touch with the 
higher forces and intelligences. Modem seience does not 
accept the doctrine of spirit-obsession as true, claiming 
that the oases of so-called spirit influence are really only 
cases of diseased mind and body, requiring for their 



M 



OBSESSION AND INSAJ7ITT 199 

cure proper medical attention. Experienced Spiritual- 
ists, however, know that while many cases of appar- 
ent obsession may be accounted for in this manner, there 
are also cases of real influence coming from less-devel- 
oped, disembodied spirits, and as great a psychologist 
as Prof. Wm. James said shortly before his death : ' ' The 
refusal of modern enlightenment to treat possession as a 
hypothesis to be spoken of as even possible, in spite of 
the massive human tradition based on concrete experience 
in its favour, has always seemed to me a curious example 
of the power of fashion in things scientific. That the 
demon-theory (not necessarily a devil-theory), will have 
its innings again is to my mind absolutely certain. One 
has to be 'scientific' indeed to be blind and ignorant 
enough not to suspect any such possibility." Dr. L. 
Nevius, after an exhaustive study of the cases of demon- 
possession in China, and after an examination of con- 
trary theories, stated his conclusion that genuine cases 
of obsession were to be found, and that they could not 
be accounted for by any other theory satisfactorily. 

EZAMPL.ES OP OBSESSION 

Take, again, the case recorded by Dr. J, Godfrey 
Raupert in his "Dangers of Spiritualism." He gives 
the case of a friend of his, M., who, after attempting 
automatic -writing and obtaining it successfully, was un- 
able to leave off the practice when he desired to. Even 
at night, when retiring to rest, M. had habitually placed 
paper and pencil by his bedside in order to be able to 
write at once, when summoned to do so, and be had 
frequently been awakened from his sleep fur this pur- 
pose — much to the detriment, of course, of his mental 
and physical health. After this, there had come a still 



200 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



L 



further development of the mystical power of writing; 
the pencil, too, had been discarded and M. had begun 
to trace the writing with his finger in the air. He could 
thus, it appears, write out a message at some length 
and was fully able to read it afterwards, just as though 
there was a piece of paper suspended in the air. , . . 
Things had thus gone on for many months, when M. at 
last awakened to the tact that a great transformation 
was passing over his moral and intellectual nature, and 
that some other mind had permeated his entire being, 
and he was now conscious that he was ceasing to think 
his own thoughts ; in short, there could not be any doubt 
that fetters were being woven around him, which he was 
growing daily more incapable of breaking. The con- 
dition of servility and submission which the control at 
first effected, was now thrown off and the latter showed 
signs of absolute power. No treatment, either hypnotic 
or medical, had the slightest influence upon the strange 
phenomenon, and M. had now given up all hope from 
this quarter. Some of the authorities, whom he had con- 
sulted, did not believe in obsession or possession. Others 
ascribed it to hysteria and fixed ideas — help there was 
none. Dr. Baupert goes on : — 

ITS DANGERS 

"I tried to argue with the personality and proved to 
him that he was merely a subconscious product on the 
part of M. When I persisted in denying the presence 
of a personality other than and different from that of 
M., a very frenzy seemed to shake the frame of M, and 
words of the moat abusive kind were levelled at me: 
"What fools you are," it exclaimed, "to tamper with 
things you do not understand, to facilitate the invasion 



OBSESSION AND INSANITY 201 

of spirits and then to deny that they exiat, to play with 
hell-fire and then be surprised that it hurts and burns! 
I challenge you to propose any kind of experiment to 
test my utter and entire independence of the person of 
this idiot, with whom I can do absolutely as I please. 
See, how I can handle him and ill-treat him. I am now 
beating and hurting him and he can do nothing to defend 
himself." With this there appeared red spots in dif- 
ferent parts of M's. face and he groaned as if in phy- 
sical pain. Upon this I replied that I shoidd accept 
the notion of an independent intelligence, it it could 
be shown to be a fact and could be clearly demonstrated. 
This he promised to do." 

Many similar eases can be found in this author's works, 
particularly "Modem Spiritualism" and "The Supreme 
Problem," and though they are doubtless coloured to 
some extent by the author 'a religious prejudices, they 
are nevertheless valuable as records or "human docu- 
ments," and should be studied as much. 

There are other Spiritualists who have written much 
on this subject of spirit -obsession, as for instance, Dr. 
J. M. Peebles, whose work "The Demonism of the Ages 
or Spirit Obsessions" should be read by all interested 
in Spiritualism, itlany cases are given in this work. 

HOW OBSESSING SPIftlTS GAIN CONTHOL 

Madam Anita Silvani, who is an experienced and cau- 
tious medium, makes the following wi.se statements, con- 
cerning the possibilities o£ obsession in those roughly 
or over hastily developed: "As to the evils, experi- 
enced by some persons, who have sat in circles for devel- 
opment or for the manifestation of psychic power I would 
say that the whole theory of magnetic control rests upon 



t 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



^f 20! 

^H a condition of mutual receptivity, being established be- 

^H tween the members of a circle, but few reflect that the 

^H blending of magnetisms with those who form tfae spirit- 

^H Bide of that circle, is no less a part of the process, and 

^H that without the aid of the magnetism of the sitters 

^H present nothing belonging to th€ spirit-side of life would 

^H be obtained. Now in forming a circle bow are you to 

^H insure absolute freedom from the influence of the low 

^m or evil, earthbound spirits, who crowd the streets of a 

^M large city I The magnetic aura, created by the circle, 

^H hangs in a cloud around it, and draws spirits toward 

^H it, even as a magnet draws iron and steel and everything 

^H bright and rusty — useful tools and dangerous weapons — 

^H will be attracted by the powerful magnet." 

H pei 

■ abt 

■ 

H poi 

I 

■ spi 

H are 

■ wh 
■^ Wf 



POISONED MdGNETISJC 



If you once admit that the aura of a pure and' good 
person can, under certain conditions, be _poisoned by 
absorbing the tainted mixture from a mixed circle of 
all sorts of mortals and spirits, you also admit that the 
good persons can carry home with them a sufBcient 
portion of that poisoned magnetism to form the nucleus 
of a magnetic state, congenial to the low and depraved 
spirits, aud into which any of them can enter a second 
time without the aid of the circle. For this reason we 
are opposed to mixed or miscellaneous circles, especially 
when sitters are not sincere and known to one another. 
We believe that possession is not always evil, and indeed 
it is often necessary. But it is the continued control of 
a highly sensitive medium which does the harm by ab- 
sorbing his finer life essence. An earthbound spirit is 
like one who belongs to neither earth nor heaven, nor 
Oebenna. He has lost his hold on the earth life and 



OBSESSION AND INSANITY 203 

has not yet attaiued to the spirit world. He lives in 
his astral body and having nothing of bis own, must 
borrow from Ihosp both above and below him on the 
Udder of development. 

OBSESSION VERSUS MEDIUMSHIP 

Mediumahip is necessary! Without it there would 
be no meaus of knowledge, no instruments through which 
to study the psychic plane; but mediumahip, in exact 
proportion to the magnetic powers it confers, becomes 
a greater and ever greater source of danger, the further 
its development is carried, unless the control of those 
powers can be handled with a firm hand and understood 
in all its aspects. Knowledge is the best safeguard, 
and knowledge will be best obtained by those who can 
study all the conditions of psychic development. 

It is said that there are two forms of magnetism, the 
astral and the physical. The fundamental difference 
between them is due to the different conditions under 
which the astral plane aud the phj'sical plane function. 

HOW "SPIHITS" INFLUENCE US 

It must not be thought, however, that all I have said 
on obsession relates entirely to Spiritualism or to develop- 
ment in circles or in private. We live all the time in 
a spiritual world as well as in a material one, and hence 
are open to the possibilities of obsession or influence, 
both good or bad, and many show in daily life the fact 
that this influence is strong, for or agaiust. 

Invisible intelligences are said to be with us much of 
the time, — some urging us on to false and wrong deeds, 
others helping and encouraging us in actions of kindness, 
sympathy and benevolence. It in our duty to get in 



204 TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

touch with the latter as much as possible, and then we 
shall receive inspiration and enlightenment from higher 
sources than any at present about us. The difficulty is 
to know how to do this without risk, for, as St. Paul 
said, we must "try the spirits" and endeavour to prove 
to our own satisfaction whether they are good or bad. 
There are various types of obsession, but for our 
present purposes we shall omit many of the odd and 
exceptional phases, such as vampires, which will be 
discussed later on in this book, and shall speak only of 
the ordinary type of spiritistic obsession. 

THE "MAONETIC LINK" 

The body and mind are doubtless connected by a sort 
of magnetic link. The mind and the physical body are 
connected by means of a fluidic or etheric body (in shape 
the double of the physical body). It is owing to the 
fact that this body becomes detached from the physical 
frame, at times, that many of the phenomena of obses- 
sion and insanity occur. The lines of force are broken, 
and the etheric body becomes first of all "loosened" 
inside the physical body, and then separated more or 
less altogether from it, without the wish of the subject, 
who may even be altogether unconscious of the proeeffi, 
and not know what is going on within him. He only 
experiences the resultant phenomena, and it is for this 
reason that he docs not know what method or course of 
treatment to pursue in order to get better or become 
cured. All ordinary treatment is, for this reason, use- 
less. Medical and physiological treatment, for the 
reason that it acts only on the physical body, not on the 
mind; and hypnotic or other psychological treatment la 
almost equally useless, for the reason that it acts on the 




OBSESSION AND INSANITY 205 

mind without reaching the phj-sical hotly. Any form 
of treatmeut which really cures, must aim to act upon 
the etheric link or connection between mind and body, 
and to act upon it in such a way that it will become re- 
adjusted both to the miud and body, and, this once ac- 
complished, the mind will be restored to its condition 
of health and sanity. One of the chief things to do, 
therefore, is to act upon this magnetic link, and draw 
back the etherie body into the physical. 

We know that anirathetica of all kinds tend to drive 
out or disconnect the etheric from the physical body, 
and it is possible that somfi day in the future, science 
may discover a drug which will have the reverse effect, 
of driving or drawing back the etheric into the physical 
body. When this has been discovered, it will doubtless 
be the means of curing many cases of insanity at present 
held incurable. For the present, inasmuch as this drug 
has never been discovered, we must resort to magnetic 
and mesmeric treatment and other methods of cure, to 
be enumerated more fully later on in this chapter. 

EARLY SYMPTOMS OF OBSESSION 

First of all let us consider some of the typical 
symptoms of obsession when they occur:— 

One of the primary things which will be noticed, 
probably, will be that the patient will be unable to sleep 
properly. He suffers from insomnia, coupled with rest- 
lessness and irritability. Soon after this he begins to ex- 
perience a dull ache or pain at the base of the brain, 
sometimes at the base of the spine also. These spots will 
be tender to the touch. A general debilitated or run 
down nervous condition will be present, — perhaps unno- 
ticed until attention be drawn to the fact. If the subject 




206 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWBBS 



has been practising automatic writing, let as say, he will 
begin to have a more or less persistent desire to write. 
This will keep pressing him forward and urging bim 
to "try what he can get" with pencil or planchette. 
Thoughts seem put into bis head, ideas, impressions and 
impulses which urge him to perform certain actions or do 
certain things. These will increase in intensity and 
frequence. 

DANGER SIGNALS 

From this point onward, great caution should be 
used, as the danger point or dividing of the ways has 
now been reached. A careful student of the occult might 
point out that the symptoms mentioned above, and in the 
first chapter, are alarmingly similar to those in the early 
stages of some tJTjes ot insanity. This is true! I de- 
scribed them earlier in this book, be it understood, not 
as desirable sjinptoms, but as those which are likely to 
appear, and for which the student should be on the look- 
out. The facts should be placed before him and when 
he is in possession of the knowledge concerning them, he 
will know how best to meet them, if he observes such 
symptoms. 

We see, therefore, the importance of careful and 
systematic development in the cultivation of medium- 
ship, as I have so often pointed out before in this book. 

After the above stage has been reached, it is probable 
that the student, who is on the wrong road, will hear 
words as though inside his head, or externally in space, 
or possibly in his solar plexus, — though this is more rare. 
Or the phenomena may take the visual turn, in which 
case the patient will "see things," mostly of an un- 
pleasant nature, such as snakes, devils, or monstrous or 



OBSESSION AND INSANITY 



207 



grotesque living objects. Thenceforward, unfavourable 
aymptoms will probably develop rapidly until the patient 
ia completely obsessed and under control. The line to 
be pursued in cases of this character is twofold. First 
prevention, second cure ! 

PREVENTION OP OBSESSION 

Prevention. Sound physical health is essential for 
all wholesome spiritual and mediumistic advancement, 
and if the patient is sick or ill and especially if run down 
or depleted nervously, he should stop all mediumistic 
practices until he is again restored to health. Plenty of 
outdoor exercise of as rugged a nature aa possible would 
do wonders in cases of this character. Fresh air, both 
day and night, is essential. Tea, coffee and alcohol 
should be avoided. Plenty of milk should be dnuik by 
the patient, as this both restores and builds up the 
nervous system in a way that nothing else can. Above 
all, plenty of sleep must be obtained, and, no matter 
whether the patient desires ten hours or more at night, 
this should be allowed, and plenty of rest at all other 
times. This is very essential at this stage of the pro- 
ceedings. 

The mental and spiritual health must be maintained 
equally with the physical. Your critical judgment and 
common-sense must he exercised now as always, both in 
judging the messages received and in the general con- 
duct of life. Do not believe everything which is told you, 
aa there are many lying and deceiving intelligences as 
well as useful and good ones. Above all, do not act 
upon or obey messages which do not strongly appeal to 
your own good sense and worldly judgment. If you 
keep up your mediumistic practices, ait only a short time 



208 



YOUK PSYCHIC POWERS 



each day (not more than 15 or 20 minutes at the 
longest) and, if possible, at the same time each day. 
These two rules, as before pointed out, are very im- 
portant. Never allow yourself to continue beyond the 
time-limit you have set yourself, no matter how in- 
teresting the communications may be, but say in a firm, 
loud voice, "We must stop now," or "I will .sit again at 
the same time tomorrow for the continuation of the 
message." You should then discontinue the writing. 

IMPORTANT WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS 

Never go inside your own head and examine its pro- 
cesses or introspect for too long a time. The wonders of 
brain and thought may appeal to your imagination, but 
never let them influence you or cause you to turn your 
thoughts inward in the attempt to solve them. If you 
do, it is sure to end disastrously, and there is no more 
reason why you should be conscious of your thinking ap- 
paratus than of your digestive or circulatory apparatus, 
which is equally mysterious and wonderful. Let them 
go on by themselves without thinking anj-thing about 
them, but using them rather as instruments for your life 
purposes. 

Always keep an interest in external things and live, 
as it were, outside your head, in the outer world all the 
time. Become interested in matter-of-fact and worldly 
objects and interests, as this will tend to distract your 
mind from yourself and restore you to a condition of 
normal healthy-mindedness. 

Cultivate a sense of humour, and never take yourself 
or your mediumship so seriously that you cannot see the 
humorous side of a situation when it may arise. En- 
deavour to harden the inner self, so to say, and focus and 




OBSESSION AND INSANITY 209 



concentrate it at a given point which is under your con- 
scious volition and control. Keep the centre of con- 
sciousness always intact and be sure that the centre is 
yourself ! 

Do not focus either the sight or the interest on external 
images or impressions when these become persistent. 
When this is the case, force yourself to banish them by an 
effort of will, and by deliberately turning the attention 
into other, more practical, directions. 

FUBTHEB ADVICE 

When dropping to sleep, always keep your mind 
centred on yourself, and never allow yourself any 
flights of imagination, and never wonder what is going 
on or endeavour to catch yourself falling asleep, as you 
might with safety do at other times. Value sleep and 
look upon it as a kindly friend. Even those who are 
seriously obsessed are safe when they are asleep, and no 
matter how terrifying their daily experiences, voices or 
visions, may be, they very rarely have unpleasant or 
terrifying dreams. Sleep is the " resting-time of the 
soul," and if the spirit is en rapport with itself, as it 
should be, it will be protected from all external influences 
during the hours of sleep. 

Cultivate your own force of will and self-possession. 
If the emotional nature is too intense, this should by all 
means be calmed down, especially before going to sleep. 

A prolonged warm bath will have a very good effect in 
such cases. 

One other preventative practice will be found very 
useful. It is this: Seated in a dark room, concentrate 
your will upon the outer limits of your aura — that is 
the "auric egg" which was described in the chapter on 




I 



i 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

the aura. By proper concentration and practise you 
will be enabled to harden or toughen the outer shell, 
as it were, of this auric egg, — rendering it impervious 
to extraneous psychic or spiritual influences. This you 
should always practice before dropping off to sleep. 
Those who have developed this power in a proper and 
adequate manner, are absolutely impervious to any evil 
or malign influences from without. 

TIIB CUBE OP OBSESSION 

Cure, Supposing now that you have not taken these 
precautions in time and that you have become actually 
obsessed for the time being, or that you meet one who 
is unfortunate enough to be in that condition. What is 
to be done I 

The advice which was given under the last heading 
should be followed here to some extent. The physical 
health should be built up by all means in your power. 
Sleep is absolutely essential and as much of it must be 
secured as possible. It may he necessary even to resort 
to sleeping draughts or powders in order to secure the 
necessary sleep. These should be prescribed by your 
regular physician, however. While drugs are doubtless 
harmful, bromide and similar medicines can be taken 
with benefit at such a time, since the evil effects of the 
drug are n;ore than counterbalanced by the benefits 
derived by mind and spirit. Alcohol must be dis- 
continued at once and a milk-diet substituted. You 
must impress upon the patient (for such he is now) that 
no one can help him beyond a certain limited point; he 
must help himself. The cure must come from within 
rather than from without. 



b 



OBSESSION AND INSANITY 



HOW TO USB THE MIND 



Distract his mind by all possible methods, so as to make 
it objective instead of introspective. Do not let him go 
inside his bead for a moment to listen to the voices or 
to see the visions which float before him; but, immedi- 
ately anything of the kind occurs, distract his attention 
and interest him in something which is going on about 
him, and of as dramatic a nature as possible, so as to 
insure attention. Do not let him go inside his head, 
for the more he lives within himself, the more difficult 
will he be to cure. You must teach him to disregard or 
to deny the voices, or impressions which insistently come 
to him. If they flatter him and tell him to do certain 
things, teach him that these voices are evil and lying, 
and are not to be trusted; for if they were otherwise 
he would not be in his present condition. 

Never imagine for a moment that an obsessed person 
is illogical or is not open to reason. His reasoning 
faculties are often keenly alert, and have often to be 
appealed to, to effect a cure. 

Thefie mental devices are very important, though they 
do not, as before said, go to the root of the matter, 

nlAONOSLS AND TREATMENT 

Clairvoyant diagnosis is very valuable, and a trained 
clair\'oyant can sometimes see the obsessing spirits and 
describe them. When this is the case, the problem of 
cure becomes more real and more apparent. If the 
patient believes in the efficacy of prayer, this is doubtless 
a potent method of cure. The religious nature is one of 
the most fundamental sides of our character, and is a 
factor which is capable of exerting an immense pressure 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

when properly brought to bear. Encourage the patient, 
therefore, to pray, if he is at all of a religious turn of 
mind. 

Magnetic treatment, such as passes etc., is often very 
valuable, and will assist in restoring the patient to health, 
by acting upon the ethcric body direct, as before ex- 
plained. Combined with suggestion, this is one of the 
most potent weapons that can be used in our present state 
of knowledge. By these methods, also, we can in some 
eases toughen the outer protective auric shell, if the 
patient is unable to direct his mind sufficiently to do this 
himself. By proper striving, however, he will soon place 
himself in the direction of the great healing Cosmic Cur- 
rents, and when once he has done so will begin to improve 
immediately and make rapid progress. 

SPIRITUAL TREIATMENT 

The most important remedial measure must now be 
described. Inasmuch as the obsessing intelligences are 
"spirits," usually of an evil or lying nature (though 
they may be only ignorant or bungling) who have 
wrecked the medium's nervous mechanism, through their 
ignorance of how to operate it, they are capable of be- 
ing reached and removed by other spirits, — that is, we 
should approach them not from the physical or even the 
mental plane, but from the spirit side of life. One of 
the best ways to do this is to secure the services of a 
reliable trance — or clairvoyant medium, who, in the 
mediumistic condition, is capable of discerning the 
spirits, and influenciug the patient. An experienced 
medium of this character has with him certain "guides" 
or "controls" who are helpful and friendly. These 
guides, if called upon, will assist by arguing with, or, if 



r 



OBSESSION AND INSANITY 



213 



npcPEsary forcefully removing the obsessing intelligences 
whn are influencing the psychic. The case should be 
explained to the medium's guides, when the latter is in 
trance, and their assistance asked. They will then under- 
take to remove the obsessing spirits, and will often suc- 
ceed in doing so after a few trials, — though in some in- 
stances they are unable to persuade or induce the ob- 
sessing spirits to leave, and are not powerful enough to 
enforce their removal. 

This, however, is the most potent and effectual method 
which we know at present, and should be employed 
whenever possible. If a medium of this character is un- 
available, then a second person should speak to the ob- 
sessing intelligences direct, and reason with them as he 
would with a human being, — pointing out to them the 
uselessness of the proceeding, the injury they are doing 
the medium, the harm to themselves, etc. 

It is rare indeed that such measures, properly ap- 
plied and coupled with the mental and physical treat- 
ment, described above, will fail to remove the influences 
which arc at work. 

THE BRIOBTER SIDE OF THE SrjBJECT 

I have described fully and freely the "seamy side" 
of Spiritualism, and its possible dangers. The student 
must not be discouraged, however, from this black out- 
look. 

The dangers exist, truly, but they also exist in other 
lines of experimental research, and many lives have been 
lost in attempts to perfect some sj-stem of medicine or 
some antidote for poison, which today we use with 
safety. It is the same here. Properly, carefully and 
lE^ystematicaliy developed, medJumship should present 



214 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



none of these dangers or diffienltieSy bat should, on the 
contrary, bring the student into touch with higher 
planes of thought and activity and enable him to ap- 
proach the more angelic sphere of being, as by careless 
or wrong development he will as surely come in contact 
with spirits of the opposite nature. For this reason I 
again urge the student to study and practice carefully 
and cautiously as he proceeds, so that none of these unj 
pleasant or terrifying experiences may at any time 
come to hiuL 



CHAPTER XXIV ^^^^ 

PRAYER. CONCENTRATION AND SILENCE 

The subjects treated in this chapter will probably be 
of special value to the student, after that immediately 
preceding it. Wc have already spoken of the value of 
prayer, in certain cases, and it may be said that both 
silence and concentration, under certain conditions, will 
always prove of great value, — not only in the cure of ob- 
session but at all other times when dark clouds loom up 
on the horizon. In order to secure the best results from 
these psychological processes, however, they should be 
practised according to certain laws, and the reason for 
their operation should be thoroughly understood by the 
student. 

WHAT "the Sn-ENCE" REALLY SIGNIFIES 

Wh^t is called "the silence" in general New Thought 
philosophy, is a peculiar psychic state into which the 
student enters in order to secure certain results. Aa the 
terra implies, quiet or silence are necessary factors, but 
they are mere means to au end ; silence in itself would 
achieve nothing. It means that in this condition, thereby 
induced, certain practices may be followed, which pro- 
duce the desired results. 

Concentration is the focusing of the entire being at 
any given moment upon a central point of interest, either 
inward or outward, as the case may be. It may be upon 
some object, or some inner thought or psychic condition. 
Concentration upon objects is usually employed as a 



4 



216 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

mere outward exercise to tram the nuDd to act according 
to instruct ions, so to speak, so that when the time comes 
it may be employed in useful and helpful psychic 
activity. 

THE VALUE OF CONCENTRATION 

Concentration means power. The more we concen- 
trate on anything the more certain it is to be accom- 
plished and the better will the results he. Just as a num- 
ber of streams meeting at a certain point will create a 
rushing, mighty current, so in the same manner will 
scattered psychic activity and forces, if brought to a 
common point, produce certain powerful results, which 
may be centred or turned into one direction or into 
another. One of the chief practical uses of concentra- 
tion is the use it may be put to to hold or bind the self 
together. We should never let it be scattered in a va- 
riety of separate channels of expression, but rather con- 
centrated into one single, powerful unit. Just as the 
strands of a rope may become separated, so the mind 
may become disintegrated and lose its initial power. In 
this weakened condition, it can be acted upon by other 
minds and forces, just as the single strands of rope can 
be broken; but the whole rope would resist any strain 
put upon it. The mind, when concentrated and acting 
under proper direction and control, is similarly im- 
pervious to all outside influences which may not be de- 
sired; and at the same time is itself a powerful factor 
either for good or evil. 

CONCENTKATION EXERCISES 

A few simple exercises in concentration may here be 
given which will be found useful not only in psychic de- 
velopment but in every phase of life. 



PRATER, CONCENTRATION, SILENCE 217 

1. Head a page of some heavy technical book, the 
meaning of which is not at all clear to you. Re-read the 
page with the determination to understand what it 
means. Read this over a number of times, if necessary, 
never letting your will relax for a moment, but de- 
termined to understand the thought of the author. If 
you do this, you will, after a few readings (the number 
varying) be enabled to grasp fully what is meant. 

2. Place a watch in front of you, and look at the 
second-hand until it has completed the circle marking 
the minute. During this process never let your thoughts 
wander from the second-hand for a moment. Concen- 
trate upon it fully. You will probably find that your 
thoughts are wandering, and that you cannot even for 
the space of a minute fix them absolutely under your 
control. Practise this until you have succeeded in ac- 
complishing it. 

3. Call up before your mind's eye a picture of a 
certain living friend. Hold this image in front of you 
as long as possible, making the details in every way as 
clear as you can, by endeavouring to fill out mentally the 
colour of the hair, of the eyes, the complexion and any 
peculiar markings that you can remember. Now when 
the face is vivid before your mind's eye, see whether 
you can discover any peculiarities in the face hitherto un- 
known to you. If you note anything of the kind, 
ascertain, the next time you see this friend, whether or 
not these impressions are correct. 

4. Call up before your mental vision the face of some 
dead relative or friend. Concentrate upon it, holding 
it firmly before you in space. Study it closely, filling in 
all details as before. Finally, when you have held this 
vividly for a minute or so without wavering in your 



218 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

attention, open your psychic or mental ears, so to speak, 
and sec if you can receive any message from the person 
whose face is before you. This will be found a very use- 
ful practice, on occasion, at the beginning of your 
mediumship, and will enable you possibly to receive di- 
rect communications when you have tried in every other 
way and failed. You will not be able to do so, however, 
until you have mastered fully this faculty of concen- 
tration. 

THE DTNAMIC POWER OP TH^ MIND 

Having progressed so far, you may now concentrate 
upon certain mental or psychic processes, while 
"willing" or demanding that some return be made as a 
result of your volitional activity. Remember that every 
thought you send out into the universe attracts to itself 
others of a like nature, and ultimately returns to the 
sender with added power, — just as a boomerang re- 
turns to the thrower. Altruistic thoughts, such as " love, 
justice, forgiveness," et-c., will therefore return to the 
owner, and make him happier for having thought them. 

Evil and malevolent thoughts will, on the contrary, 
return and make the sender more unhappy and more 
innately evil in consequence. The path we travel, 
whether it be upward or downward, always gets easier 
as we proceed. We are helped along not only by the 
powers of good or darkness, but by our own thoi^hts and 
their results. 

Thoughts are things ! No thought is ever annihilated, 
and there is evidence to show that thought can take ma- 
terial form on occasion, and influence, either for good or 
evil, those at a distance. This will be more fully ex- 
plained, however, in subsequent chapters. 



I 



PRAYER, CONCENTRATION, SILENCE 219 

THE VALUE OP PRAYER 

We must now say a few words on prayer, and its 
great value to one who sends out the prayer thought. 
There are many who believe that prayer is "supersti- 
tion" since they do not believe in a personal God, who 
grants or answers prayers, but rather in an impersonal, 
"Creative Power," which orders all things aecording 
to unvarying laws. Even on this theory, however, 
prayer, under certain conditions, is fully justified; for, 
in the first place, as we have just seen, helpful and whole- 
some thoughts tend to bring their own reward. In the 
next place, prayer is an auto-suggestion of great value, 
and its influeuce upon the mental and physical life il 
frequently very great. In the third place, prayer will 
help and buoy you up by giving you added confidence 
and belief in your powers. In the fourth place, inas- 
much as telepathy is a fact in nature, you may, while 
in that condition, reach the minds of other human be- 
ings, who can help you and will actually do so, without 
knowing why. The many interesting cases which may 
be found, of "answers to prayers" (bringing a material 
return) fully justify its use from that point of view. 
Fifth, you ean doubtless reach, by telepathy, friends in 
the spirit-life, who may be brought into more or less 
direct touch with you, during the prayerful condition of 
mind which is certainly closely akin to certain phases of 
subjective mediumship. They may in this manner be 
made aware of your condition for the first time, and will 
then endeavour to help you. 

Sixth, by prayer you may bring yourself into har- 
mony with the great Cosmic Currents of Good, which, aa 
before explained, are playing hither and thither upon 




220 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



our Universe in much the s&me way as light, heat, cavi- 
tation, electricity and other material forces plsy or act 
apon it and us. 

All these material factors must be taken into account, 
apart from the [wssibility that there is a receptive, 
loving and protecting power in the world, which is 
capable of helping ua in time of need. 

PBAYEB ra OBsessiox 
In obsession cases particularly, prayer is of value, be- 
cause of the relief from tension and the wholesome 
mental attitude induced. Just as a drowning man will 
clutch at a straw, so those who are in terrible distress 
will frequently resort to this practice, when they would 
not think of doing so at any other time ; and, in a sense, 
they are justified in so doing. There is an old saying 
that "Man's extremity is God's opportunity," It may 
be that prayer, in the ordinary sense of the word, is not 
needed during an ordinary healthy life, provided that 
it is lived in accordance wifh the laws of nature and ac- 
cording to its own highest mental and spiritual insight. 
At the same time, there may be occasions when it is justi- 
fied and helpful, and certainly it has proved so in certain 
cases of difficulty and obsession. 

HOW PHATEB CUKES 

The beneficial effects of prayer may be explained in 
many cases, quite simply. As explained in the chapter 
devoted to the Subconscious Mind, certain groups of 
thoughts tend to become bound together, — forming what 
is known as a "complex." If this activity be wholesome, 
the result is beneficial, and, in fact, all our educational 
processes depend upon this complex-formation. On the 



PRAYER, CONCENTRATION, SILENCE 221 

other hand, these groups of thoughts may be harmful, in 
which case they tend to press upon the mind from be- 
neath, in much the same way that physical tumours might 
press upon some healthy structure in the body, and im- 
pede its functional activity. 

The mind, therefore, becomes "diseased" by reason 
of this "pressure," and will only resume its wholesome 
attitude when this "pressure" is removed. By means 
of hypnotic suggestion and spiritual treatment, the mind 
may be opened up and explored, and this "complex" 
found and removed. This once done, the mind is re- 
stored to its wholesome activity, and the cure is com- 
plete. This is known in technical-language as the 
"Purging Treatment." As soon as the unwholesome 
load is removed, the mind is cured. 

Now, in prayer, when a full and free confession is 
made, this same purging process occurs. The mind is 
freed from its burden and is consequently restored to 
health by its own inner nature. This being so, it may be 
seen that prayer, as such, is a real curative process and 
in many types of obsession and similar cases, it may be 
employed effectually, as before said, as a therapeutic 
measure of great value in curing the sick mind. 




CHAPTER XXV 



THE HUMAN "FLUID" 



The human body is charged with a certain magnetism 
which differs from all other forms of magnetism and 
electricity in the world. All other forces, of which we 
have knowledge, are non-intelligent, and have to be 
guided and directed by mind or by some law, in order 
to bring about any definite or desired result. It is there- 
fore meaningless to explain the continued and consecu- 
tive movements of the plaachette-board or any similar 
instrument by saying that it is due to "magnetism" or 
to "electricity" or to any similar power. These are all 
blind forces and must be directed, in order that any in- 
telligent result may be obtained. The vital magnetism, 
which is present in the body, is also a blind force, but is 
under the control of the subconscious mind, and, under 
certain conditions, to be spoken of later, may be played 
upon or manipulated by external intelligeneea. In this 
way the various results are obtained. 

NATURE AND PBOPEKTIES OP THE FLUID 

This vital magnetism appears to be Suidic or semi- 
fluidie in form and capable of flowing from one organism 
into another. It is upon this principle that the various 
magnetic cures are based, — the fluid running from the 
operators' fingers into the body of the patient treated. 

That this fluidio energy is present in any human body 
may be proved in a number of ways: — 



I 



THE HUMAN "FLUID" 223 

Id the first place, the human aura, which I deserihed 
in an earlier chapter, is partly a manifestation of this 
vital activity, the colours being the varying vibratory 
counterparts of the energy radiated. 

In Psyehometry, again, it is this vital energy which 
passes into objects, impregnating them with its fluidic 
properties. 

Each individual has his own peculiarly constituted and 
personal vital magnetism, and this differs from all others 
in quality and properties. A fully developed psychic 
is enabled to distinguish these, one from another, and a 
medium in trance may be enabled to get into communi- 
cation with a deceased person through or by means of 
this fluidic impression left upon it, as explained in the 
chapter devoted to Trance. One or two practical ex- 
amples or exercises may serve to show the student the 
reality of this fluidic emanation, and he may employ 
these to convince his sceptical friends also of its reality. 

EXPERIMENT TO PROVE THE EXISTENCE OP THE FLUID 

1. A very simple test is the following: — Hang a dead- 
black cloth over the back of a chair and see that no light 
falls directly on the cloth. The light in the room should 
be somewhat subdued and you should stand between it 
and the cloth, so as to throw your hands, held against the 
latter, into shadow. Now approach your two bauds one 
to the other and touch the finger-tips together, the haads 
being otherwise opened wide, palms turned towards 
yourself and thumbs pointing toward the ceiling. In 
this condition you will probably find that, as the first 
and fourth finger-tips touch, the second and third fingers 
have to be bent considerably to touch one another. The 
hands should be at a distance of about three inches from 




224 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



the blaeb cloth and about 15 inches from your face. 
Hold the finger-tips together for about 30 seconds ; then 
very gradually pull them apart and you will see, coming 
from and joining your fingers, streams of whitish, miaty 
vapour, which is the fluid connection between the hands, 
which you have established by the previous contact. If 
you move the fingers slightly up and down, after they 
have been separated an inch or so, you will find that the 
streams or bands of light follow the fingers, still con- 
necting them, which will prove that it is not due to hal- 
lucination or to what is called "persistence of vision." 

HOW TO MAGNETIZE WATER 

2. Place two glasses of water side by side on the table. 
Over one of these place the tips of your fingers, held 
together so as to form a point as much as possible. Hold 
these over the water in one glass for four or five 
minutes, willing that your vital magnetism should pass 
into the water and a^ect it. If now you ask a sensitive 
person, who has not seen you perform the experiment, to 
pick out the glass of water which has been treated mag- 
netically, he will be able to do so almost invariably, and 
will tell you that the water sparkles as though charged 
with some effervescent gas, 

LIFE PRESERVED BT THE HUMAN TLiUlD 

Some recent experiments, conducted by & group of 
scientific men in Bordeaux, France, have proved con- 
clusively that the human body radiates a form of vital 
energy which may be extremely powerful in its results. 
A lady, possessing the power of projecting or exter- 
naliring this vital energy in a remarkable degree, dis- 
covered that by placing her bands for fifteen or twenty 



r 



THE HUMAN "FLUID" 



225 



I 



minutes daily for a period of two or three weeks over 
certain dead objects, such as oysters, canary-birds, fishes 
and even larger animals, such as guinea-pigs and rab- 
bits, she was enabled to preserve them indefinitely; that 
is, instead of decomposing as they ordinarily would have 
done, they dried up or mummified and were preserved for 
months with no change whatever taking place in their 
substance! They never decomposed! 

PROOFS OP TnB nUMAN FLUID 

This fact was fully endorsed by several chemists and 
physicians who studied her case and they stated that this 
was due to the fact that the vital emanation coming from 
her body killed or destroyed the bacteria usually present 
in all these bodies after death. This could be traced with 
the microscope. For example six oysters were allowed 
to decompose partially, while six were treated by her. 
The six that were treated never decomposed at all, bnt 
dried up or desiccated without any putrefaction. Now, 
when the other half dozen oysters had partially decom- 
posed and bacteria could be seen under the microscope, 
Madam X. was requested to place her hands over the 
oysters and treat them. After lifteen minutes' treat- 
ment, they were again examined and it was found that 
thousands of bacteria had been killed. At the end of a 
few days they had all disappeared and the oysters dried 
up and thenceforward no decomposition whatever was 
noted ! 

This is a very striking proof of the reality of the 
human fiuid and its peculiar action in certain eases. 
There is evidence to show, however, that in other in- 
stances its action is different from this, and that it im- 
parts life and energy rather than proves destructive, as 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

in tlie above unique case. Many persoDs have the power 
of preserving the lite of flowers by treating them with 
their hands in a similar manner every day, and the 
student might well try this experiment and see to what 
extent he can preserve the life of certain flowers—others 
of a like nature being preserved at the same time by 
another person and under similar conditions to note the 
difference, if any, between the two sets. 

It is this vital magnetism, which, projected beyond 
the bodily limits under the action of the will, is respon- 
sible for many physical phenomena, as we shall see in 
Chapter XXXVIII. 

HOW MATERIAl, OBJECTS BECOME CHARGED BT THE PLUTO 

Material objects, particularly of a sponge-like nature, 
such as wood, are capable of being charged up very 
highly by this vital magnetism, and when this is the case 
they come ' ' en rapport ' ' with the medium, who is enabled 
to move or manipulate them from a distance by his power 
of will, because of this vital, fluldic connection. We 
shall speak more fully of this, however, in the chapter de- 
voted to physical phenomena. 

It may be proved experimentally, also, that this fluidic 
magnetism is cither capable of sensing pain or is the 
means whereby pain is carried from the nerve-centrea 
to the consciousness. 

EXTERIORIZATION OP "SENSIBILITY" 

Under certain conditions the fluidlc body, which is the 
inner part of the physical body and acts as its "double," 
may by hypnotic and magnetic processes be removed 
entirely from the physical body, in which case it may 
be acted upon by suggestion from others present at the 



r 



THE HUMAN "FLUID" 






time. For example : — Colonel Albert De Roehas, of 
Paris, succeeded in entirely disengaging or separating 
the fluidic body of his subject from the physical body, 
and gradually removed it to greater and greater dis- 
tances until it stood several feet from the entranced 
subject's physical organism! He then pricked the sur- 
face of the 0uidie body with needles, and the sleeping 
subject experienced these sensations of pain in her own 
physical body at a spot or point exactly corresponding 
to the part pricked on the etheric body. 

"bbpehcussion" 

This seems to show that there is a direct vital or mag- 
netic link between the etheric and the physical organ- 
isms, and that injury done to the one re-acts upon the 
other by means of what is known as "repercussion." 
This is a very significant fact, when we remember that 
in materializing stances, it sometimes happens that the 
figure is seized or in some way injured by the sitter, and 
the entranced medium is injured in exactly the same 
way that the materialized figure is injured. This fact 
has long been known to experienced spirit ualists. 

This curious fact has also great significance and throws 
an interesting side-light on many of the phenomena of 
so-called "witchcraft." We know that many of these 
stories relate that the witch, assuming another form, 
visited other scenes or localities, and if cut, shot or 
injured there, she herself was found next day to have 
received these exact injuries, though lying in her bed 
at some distance from the scene of the event in question ! 

Such stories certainly appear more credible, when we 
take into consideration the above facts, for both sets of 
phenomena seem to depend upon "repercussion." 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW THE HUMAN FLUID MAT IMPRESS 
PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES 



4 



The human fluid may also be proved to exist by means 
of photography. If a sensitive plate be wrapped in black 
paper and the hands of the psychic or medium of suitable 
temperament be placed upon it, the flindic radiation com- 
ing from the hand and fingers will influence the plate 
through the enveloping black paper, and the impress 
of the hand will be found upon the plate. This can only 
be accounted for by supposing that the fingers became in 
some way radio-active during the esperiment. 

Many psychics can go further than this, and can im- 
press upon the plate an image or figure of their thought 
at the time. Thus, when holding the plate between 
their palms or on their forehead or against the solar 
plexus, and thinking of a sheep, a eat, a chair, etc., 
the image of a sheep, cat or chair is impressed upon the 
plate. Experiments such as these may be tried by any 
student, and are of extreme interest and also of value, 
scientifically, when they are successful. It is to be hoped 
that many readers of this book will try experiments of 
this character and report any results they may obtain! 




CHAPTER XXVI 



SELF-PROJECTION 




By "self-projection" ia meant the faculty or ability to 
send out or cause to travel to a distance the etheric self 
or "double," by an effort of will. This seems to be, to 
some extent, inherent in some individuals, and occurs 
■with them spontaneously and almost against their will. 
They go into trance and, at the end of a certain time, 
find that they have left their bodies and travelled to 
some distant scene ! This, however, is rare : in the ma- 
jority of cases the power has to be developed by long 
and assiduous cultivation. 



OP WHAT THE " THOUGHT- BOD Y " IS COMPOSED 

Before I come to speak of this projection of the 

self, a few words are necessary as to the nature and 

composition of this etheric body, or double, which is 

thuB projected. 

The physical body is composed of millions of tiny 
cells, and in each cell there is a centre or nucleus of 
energy. This centre is so infinitely small that it cannot 
be detected even by the highest-powered microscope. 
All that we know is, that physical matter in the cell 
is in some way vitalized or rendered living when it 
comes in contact with this vital centre. The source of 
the energy is invisible and cannot be determined by us. 
It seems to well-up from nowhere. Now, this centre 
of energy constitutes a sort of psychic point or cell of 
its own, and as there are millions of them in the body, 




230 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

corresponding to the number of physical cells, it is ob- 
vious that there are millious of vital cells which conform 
exactly to the shape of the body, since they correspond 
to its physical cells in life. These psychic centres have 
been called "psychomeres," and their bulk is estimated 
at about one millionth that of the physical body. The 
density of the etheric double, therefore, would be about 
one millionth as dense as the physical body. The com- 
bined weight of these psychomeres has been variously 
estimated, but probably varies between that of ten post- 
age stamps and one ounce and a-half. This would repre- 
sent the weight of the "astral" or etherie body, and is 
such that it would float slowly upward through the 
physical atmosphere, as would a balloon. This fact 
coincides with what we know of the gradual floating 
upward of the spiritual body after death. 

INNER, FINER BODIES 

It is this body which we inhabit after we discard the 
denser physical frame. It is not necessary to suppose 
that our consciousness is scattered throughout the whole 
of this body any more than it is at present. The centre 
of spiritual activity and the power of the will and mind 
may be a point of force, so to speak, within this etheric 
double and we may utilize and animate it just as we 
utilize and animate the physical body in this life. After 
a time it is probable that we discard this etheric body, 
to assume one of even lesser density, and that this 
process continues a number of times, until the spirit 
ultimately inhabits one of such infinitely fine matter, — 
if such it can be called, — that it is practically a mental 
or spiritual body. This is what we learn from many 
"spirits" who have communicated such facta to us. It 



SELP.PEOJECTION 



231 



IB this body, therefore, which becomes disengaged from 
the physical body during life and goes on trips or escur- 
Bions — carrying with it the consciousness of the individ- 
ual and returns to animate the physical body at the end 
of a certain period of time. 

POSSIBLE DANGERS AND HOW THEY ABB OVERCOME 

When this disunion or severance takes place, there is 
always a connecting link, a "magnetic cord," which 
unites the physical and the etheric bodies. If this cord 
were to get broken, for any reason, re-animation would 
be impossible, and the death of the body would take 
place. This is the great danger attendant upon experi- 
ments of this character i but such a phenomenon is only 
possible in cases of very deep trance, where the separa- 
tion is almost complete, and very little serves to dis- 
connect it entirely. It is highly improbable that any 
but the most advanced student could reach this stage, 
and when he has reached it, certain mystical, inner 
practices may be resorted to, which would offset this 
possible danger. 

It is this body which is occasionally photographed, 
and many so-called spirit-photographs are in reality 
photographs, not of discamato but of incarnate spirits; 
that is, — they are wandering "doubles" of spirits still 
in the flesh. 

Again, many apparitions and figures seen in haunted 
houses are of this nature. They constitute the projec- 
tions of living persons rather than those who have passed 
over, and it takes au experienced psychic student to dis- 
tinguish between the two types of figures. They have 
been known to appear at stances, also, in the form of 
"materializations." 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWEES 



THODHT POKMS: HOW THET ARE BIJn,T-UP 

In addition to these etheric bodies or "doubles," there 
may also be mental or thoagbt-bodies, created entirely 
by tbe mind and vilJ of the subject. Thos, in a case 
known to us, a clairvoyant was sent on a trip to the 
house of a friend and asked to describe the individual 
whom she found there. She described a certain person 
in detail — hair, eyes, features, etc., given at great length. 
When the psychic had finished and recovered full eon- 
Bciousnese, she was told that her description was en- 
tirely wrong, and that no such person existed in the 
honse in question, and that her description was through- 
out erroneous. In order to prove this, a journey was 
made at once to the house of the subject in qnestion. 
When the facts were stated, he replied, that although 
he himself did not in any way resemble the clairvoyant 
description, this corresponded exactly and in minute 
detail to a character he was creating and writing about 
in his book! In other words: his thoughts had created 
the figure so vividly that it actually lived for the time 
being as an objective entity, and was seen as such by 
the entranced clairvoyant. 

We can see from this, then, that "thoughts are things." 
They assume shape and, in a certain sense, live in tbe 
physical world. All our thoughts have a definite shape 
as well as a definite colour, and tbe more advanced stu- 
dents along the Path of Development can see and de- 
scribe these thoughts, we are told, as clearly as we see 
objects. 

HOW THE SELVES MAT BE PROJECTED 

If this be true, it has a very significant bearing upon 

cases which occur and have been reported in the past. 



SELF-PROJECTION 233 

For example, the reader will doubtless recall the ease 
of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Steven- 
Bon {a most important case for all students to study). 
Here, as we know, the original individual finally became 
two. Dr. Jekyll developed another self, calling himself 
Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll was kindly, helpful and sympa- 
thetic; Hyde was evil, malicious and wholly repulsive. 
These two selves were developed in the original person, 
and the split between them became greater and greater 
as the months went by. Finally Mr. Hyde assumed 
complete supremacy and Dr. Jekyll vanished for ever! 
In this case it was not a mere change of personality 
which could be accounted for on any psychological 
grounds; it was an actual physical transformation. Ap- 
parently there were two separate bodies, which were 
transformed one into the other ! 

Suppose now, that the good self, Dr. Jekyll, also the 
bad self, Mr. Hyde, existing as separate, mental beings, 
each had the power of self-projection. They would each 
create, by their own thoughts, a separate body, and this 
being would resemble, in outward appearance, the 
thoughts which created it. Cases of this character 
might, therefore, exist, and might conceivably be ex- 
plained on scientific principles. 

We must be careful, then, of the character of the 
thought-self which we build up, for if this resembles 
outwardly its inner structure, we may (many of us) come 
to resemble monstrosities rather than human beings, 
at some stage of our development, when the plane is 
reached where thoughts predominate and shape the 
expression of the self! (This idea has been graphically 
portrayed in John Uri Lloyd's book, "Etidorhpa.") 




234 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

PRACTICAL INSTEUCnONS FOB aELP-PBOJECTION 
TliiB inner, etherio body, which is expelled to a dis- 
tance by the power of will, in cases of self- project ion, 
may be released and projected by the student after a 
certain amount of practice. He should go about this 
cautiously, feeling bis way, as it were, but proceeding 
more or less along the following lines: 

Place yourself in a perfectly composed attitude, either 
on a couch or in a large chair. Close the eyes and 
breathe deeply for a few minutes, all the time holding 
the mind on a centra] point of concentration. Travel 
over your body in thought, and at each point or spot 
dwelt upon by you. will that your etheric body becomes 
detached or loosened from its connection with the phyai- 
cal body. As you begin to gain control of this process, 
you may hear or rather "sense" a process of separation 
taking place, resembling a "click," and inwardly feeling 
like the disconnection of an electric current. When 
this has been completed at one point, travel to another. 
Do not try too many on any one occasion, and always 
be sure to restore by an effort of will the original con- 
nected condition before you terminate the experiment. 

FURTHER DIRECTIONS AND ADVICE 

After you have gone round your body in this way, 
and have succeeded in disconnecting it more or Icsa 
completely, you should then call up before you, in apace, 
a certain distant locality, such as the room of a friend, 
and, throwing the whole force of your being into a 
single determined effort of will, force yourself mentally 
to leave your body and travel to the locality before 
you- If you feel that you are losing eonsciousnesa, or 



SELF-PROJECTION 



235 



that everything is "going black" before you, discontinue 
the experiment at once and return to your physical body. 
If you can keep your self-eonsciousness active, you may 
safely travel to any distance, — feeling assured that you 
will be able to return whenever you want to and rci 
animate your own physical frame. All this, of course, 
takes time and persistence of development, and cannot 
be acquired in a few days. Moreover, I would advise 
the student not to attempt this process, until he has 
progressed further in his studies and read the advice 
contained in the last chapter.' 

Should he, however, make up his mind to do so, he 
should proceed along the above lines, advancing cau- 
tiously all the time and never allowing himself to lose 
consciousness at any stage of the proceedings. 

When he has acquired this power, he will have in his 
possession a wonderful knowledge, and a means of acquir- 
ing information and spiritual insight which others, who 
have not developed it, are totally unable to comprehend. 

1 Further advivQ U to be found in my book "Modern Fsfchical 
Phenomena," in which a chapter b devoted to this quwtign. 




CHAPTER XXVn 

APPARITIONS 



I 



An apparition is a pbaiitasma] being, commonly called 
a "ghost," which is seen by sensitive individuals under 
certain conditions. Before we ean speak more fully 
of apparitions, we must answer the question which natu- 
rally occurs; namely: 

WHAT IS A "GHOST"t 

Modern theories and ideas on this question have 
changed greatly within the past quarter of a century. 
At that time, if an ordinary scientific man were ques- 
tioned on this subject, he would probably reply that it 
1 hallucination, — the result of a diseased mind, and 
had no existence in reality outside the imagination of 
the subject who perceived it. But in t"hese days this 
idea has been greatly modified, and it must now be ad- 
mitted that "ghosts" are very much more complicated 
than this. 

In the first place, when the Society for Psychical Re- 
search began its investigations in 1882, it was found 
that a large percentage of cases of apparitions occurred 
at or about the time of death. Some occurred before 
and some after, but most of them were approximately 
at that time. Further, the subjects who perceived or 
saw them were not diseased or imaginative persona, 
and probably never had another experience of this char- 
acter either before or afterwards. The questions natu- 
rally arose, "Why this connection? What is the bond 




APPARITIONS 237 

uniting the dying person with the apparition seent" 
Some scientific men, it is tmt, have come forward and 
stated that this connection is due to chance and that 
there was no real connection whatever. This is, how- 
ever, disproved by the report of the Society, as the re- 
sult of several years' work. They succeeded in obtain- 
ing answers from some 30,000 persons, and, calculating 
the percentage of possible coincidences, they found that 
the number of "coincidences" was hundreds of times 
more numerous than chance could account for. Prof. 
Sidgwick'a Committee, who conducted the investigation, 
therefore signed the following statement : 

APPARITIONS COINCIOING WITH 13EATH 

"Between deaths and apparitions of the dying person 
a connnection esists which is not due to chance alone. 
This we hold as a proved fact." 

There is, therefore, some definite connection between 
the two, and the task was to ascertain its nature and 
character. 

The theory was then advanced, that, inasmuch as tele- 
pathy is a fact scientifically proved, and inasmuch as 
figures and images may be transferred from one mind 
to another by this means, the dying person might transfer 
a vision or image of himself to the mind of some friend 
or relative, — so that this person would see, not a real 
outstanding figure, but a mental picture or image of 
him, — created by the thought of the dying person, and 
conveyed telepathically to the mind of the living friend. 
These "telepathic hallucinations," as they are called, 
doubtless account for many of the apparitions which are 
seen at or about the moment of death; also for many 
of those which occur before death and during the life- 



238 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

time of the individual. But how about those which 
oeeur after death I Here we should have to assume that 
some other process was involved, or else extend our belief 
so as to cover and embrace the action of discarnate spirits. 

PHANTASMS OP THE DEAD 

One theory of these apparitions (seen after the death 
of the person they represent) is that they embody the 
thought of the dead person. For example : an individual 
spirit may continue to think over its life and the scenes 
of its varied activities, and these recollections and 
thoughts, influencing the minds of those still living, by 
means of telepathy, would cause them to see the phan- 
tasmal image of the person thinking the thoughts. This, 
however, is a question which we shall discuss more fully 
in the next chapter. For the present it may be said that 
this is one theory advanced to explain so-called phan- 
tasms of the dead, or "ghosts," as opposed to phantasms 
of the living, and phantasms of the dying. 

GHOSTS THAT TOUCH ! 

There are many cases of apparitions, however, which 
cannot be thus easily explained by assuming that they 
are the projection or telepathic influence of a living 
mind, or the mind of a discarnate spirit. In many eases, 
they seem to be real substantial beings, — to occupy space 
and exist as real semi-solid, or material phantoms. 
Those who have been convinced of the reality of an 
etheric or spiritual body, need have no difBciUty in 
assnming that it is this body which is seen at such times, 
and in many cases we find strong evidence for supposing 
that a body of this character actually exists. For ex- 
ample: In one historic instance, a doctor and his wife 



APPAEITIONS 



239 



both saw the figure of a woman standing at the fcwt of 
their bed, and saw it cross the room and plaee its fingers 
over a small night-light, which was burning on the 
mantelpiece. At the moment the phantom thus placed 
his hands over the light, it was extinguished and the 
room was left in darkness! 

Here it is difficult to suppose that any thought-creation 
or "telepathic hallucination" of any character existed, 
for the reason that a physical phenomenon was produced 
and no hallucination could have done this. 



MATERIALIZED PHANTOMS 

Again, in many cases, the phantasmal form or appari- 
tion is seen to open doors, lift curlains, raise bed-clothes, 
etc., and in such cases, again, we must assume that a 
real phantom exists. The problem is thus more com- 
plicated than at first appears, and, as Mr. Andrew Lang 
remarked, "Consequently, if these stories are true, some 
apparitions are ghosts, — real objective entities filling 
space. Hallucinations cannot draw curtains, or open 
doors, or cause thumps — not real thumps — hallucinatory 
thumps are different." 

Dr. Burns tells of a gentleman, who, in a dream, 
pushed against a door in a distant house, so that those 
in the room were scarcely able to resist the pressure ! 
Now, if this rather staggering anecdote be true, the 
spirit of a living man, being able to affect matter, is 
also, so to speak, material and is an actual entity, an 
astral body. These arguments then make in favour of 
the old-fashioned theory of ghosts and wraiths, as things 
objectively existing, rather than the view that all these 
"ghosts" are necessarily subjective in or^in. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



PHANTASMS CREATED BY THOUGHT 

These phantasms are doubtless thought-bodies, in many 
cases coDstnieted by the operating intelligence itself. 
One interesting fact in this connection is this: that it 
is nearly alwaj's stated by those who have seen figures 
of this bind that the phantom is clear and plainly 
visible about the head and the upper part of the body, 
but that the apparition dwindles down to a vaporous 
film toward the feet. In other words, the upper part 
of the body is much clearer than the lower part. 

If the phantom were a definite thought-creation, this 
is only what we should expect. For we think of the 
upper portion of our bodies much more than the lower 
portion ; we are more conscious of our head and shoulders, 
and the upper portion of the trunk and the hands and 
arms, and only vaguely conscious of the legs and lower 
portions of the body. This is exactly what we find in 
apparitions ; and it would therefore seem that the figures 
are clear in outline just to the extent that the operating 
intelligence is intensely conscious of the appearance ol 
the body he is creating or building up. 

PHANTOMS WHICH IMPAKT INFORMATION 

There are also certain cases on record in which the 
phantom has given the recipient of the experience some 

important information, which he did not know previously 
— where certain papers are hidden, etc. Such cases cer- 
tainly prove that an independent intelligence is there — 
a spirit which is thus manifesting its presence. It must 
be admitted, however, that most apparitions are pur- 
poseless and meaningless; but this is easily accounted 
for by supposing that we see, at such times, not the 




APPARITIONS 



241 



spirit itself, but its mere projected thought — a phan- 
tom created by the spirit, rather than the spirit itself. 
Most apparitions are, doubtless, of this nature. 

We have seen that there are apparitions of the living, 
of the dying and of the dead — mostly attached to human 
beings. When they are attached to localities they be- 
come local phantasms, or cases of "haunting," of which 
we shall speak in the next chapter. 

EXPERIMENTAL APPAHITIONS 

In addition to these, there are so-called cases of "ex- 
perimental apparitions, ' ' in which an individual succeeds 
in creating a phantasmal figure at a distance, by an 
effort of will or thought. These closely resemble certain 
cases of self-projection on the one hand and eases of 
witchcraft on the other, and form an intermediary be- 
tween them, — since on the one hand they are mere mental 
pictures and on the other they are real physical entities. 
Experimental apparitions, then, seem to bridge the gulf 
between these two types of phenomena, and form a 
connecting link. 

Apparitions may be induced experimentally by willing 
very strongly, just as you are falling asleep that you 
will appear to a certain person at a certain time, and, 
if this is properly managed, it will be successful in a 
large number of cases. This may also be induced ex- 
periment ally by means of hypnotic suggestion or mag- 
netic or mesmeric processes, and, when in the trance, 
the spirit of the sleeper may be directed to a certain 
locality and there seen by those present. The natives 
of West-Africa claim to be able to do this more or lesa 
at will. They can project the "double" or "etheric 
body" and, so to speak, materialize it at the other end! 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW TO CREATE THOUQHT-POBMS 



4 



The same laws which prevail in many of the previous 
exercises also rule here. 

The student should see to it that he retains a grasp 
of his own personality and does not lose control of his 
inner self at any stage of the proceedings. As he prog- 
resses in his development along these lines, he should 
endeavour to make the apparition which appears "at 
the other end of the line," so to speak, more or less 
solid. After he has once succeeded in the process of 
projection, he should throw all his will into the effort 
to make the projected form more and more substantial, 
and to will that his self-consciousness and activity be 
actually transferred to the distant scene. In this way 
he is not only seen by others, who may happen to be 
present, but is also enabled to see for himself what is 
actually going on in that place, and obtains, at the 
same time, a clairvoyant vision of the surroundings in 
which he has appeared. In this way both the psychic 
and those who perceive the created figure mutually ex- 
change experiences; and this process should be continued 
until the projected double becomes so solid in structure 
that it cannot be distinguished from a real physical 
being. There are many advanced psychic students who 
claim that they can actually create and project to great 
distances material bodies of this nature. 



CHAPTER XXVin 

HAUNTED HOUSES 



i 



As explained in the last chapter, when apparitions be- 
come fixed or attached to one locality, they constitute 
what is called a "local haunting," and the place they in- 
fluence is commonly called a "haunted house." This is 
the ordinary or common theory of haunted houses, and 
the average person probably assumes that the figures seen 
in such houses are material, and the picture he forms 
of the ghost is that it is a sheeted figure walking about, 
up and downstairs, and clanking chains after it ! There 
are probably few, if any, psychic students who believe 
that houses are haunted by flgures of this description, 
and opposed to this view is that of ordinary science, 
which contends that there are no haunted bouses at all 
— the figures seen within them being merely the product 
of expectancy, suggestion and excited imaf^nation! 

THE EXPLANATION OP HAUNTED HOUSES 

All those who have carefully investigated the subject, 
however, come to the conclusion, sooner or later, that 
there ore genuine haunted houses. The question is: 
what constitutes the haunting and how are such cases 
to be explained J Many psychic students have special- 
ized, BO to spealt, in this subject of haunted houses, and 
have formulated various theories to explain eases of 
this character. The following are the most important 
theories which have been advanced : 

1. That one person or group of persons, forming a 



244 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



family, have experienced certain psj'chic phenomena in 
the house in question, and these formed the nucleus round 
which gathered impressious, noises and psychic experi- 
encca of all kinds. Prom a small beginning great results 
sprang, elaborated by their own minds. Now, when 
these people moved away from the house in question, 
and other tenants occupied it, this second group was 
influenced by the thoughts, emotions and impressions of 
those who had moved away, so that they in their tnm 
began to see signs and hear strange sounds, — inquiry 
revealing the fact that the house had the reputation of 
being "haunted," and their own imaginations would 
magnify the significance of all they had seen or heard. 
In other words, this theory contends that telepathy op 
influence from living minds is the all-sufBcient explana- 
tion and alone serves to account for the facta. 

TBLEPATHT AND "pSTCniC ATMOSPHEBE" 

2. The second theory advanced is that telepathy from 
the dead is the true explanation — the phantoms fieen, 
etc., being produced by the influence of minds of de- 
ceased persons. On this theory the 6giircs and phantoms 
are not objective or real any more than in the first case, 
but are telepathic hallucinations, just as truly, though 
they have an objective basis of reality, inasmuch as 
they have originated in the mind of a deceased person. 
Dreams or thoughts of the dead constitute, therefore, 
the basic principle of explanation on this theory. 

3. The next theory which is advanced is that some 
subtle psychic atmosphere permeates the walls of the 
house in question, and that this atmosphere influences 
or impresses all those who live within it. There is 
much to say in favour of such a theory, and the pre- 




HAUNTED HOUSES 245 

vious chapters on the Aura, Paychometry, The Human 
Fluid, etc., will lend a certain amount of support to it. 
At the same time it is difficult to see how a general and 
impersonal atmosphere of this character could translate 
itself into definite figures or forms, partienlarly when 
these speak and convey information unknown to the 
seer. I shall say more of this later. 

ASTEAL BODIES AND THOUGHT-POHMS 

4. The fourth theory to be advanced is that the figures 
Been are the a-stral or etheric bodies of spirits who return 
and constitute the haunting, — being present in actual 
fact. This is the nearest approach to the commonly-held 
theory of the figures seen in haunted houses. 

5, The fifth theory is that such figures are thought- 
forms, created by some distant, living or disearnate mind, 
and projected into the house in question, where they 
assume more or less definite and tangible form. This 
is, in a sense, a process of self-projection, but the phan- 
tasm is always seen in a certain place as though magnet- 
ically drawn to that locality. 

THE NATtTBE OP THE PIOUBES SEEN 

Which of these theories is the correct onet In my 
own estimation there is much truth in all of them, and 
no two cases of haunted houses are due to the same 
cause or depend upon the same conditions. All five of 
these causes may be operating at the same lime in any 
one house, or any two, three or four of them may be. 
Indeed, to judge from the complex nature of the phe- 
nomena seen, it is highly probable that such is the case. 
There is strong evidence, in fact, to make us believe that 
the ordinary hallucination theories will not serve to ex- 



^ 



246 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

plain the facts. For example: these phantasms often 
produce physical phenomena, as before explained, — such 
as opening doors, lifting curtains, snuffing candles, etc. 
Mental images or pictures could not do this. Again, 
animals often see, or appear to see, apparitions in 
haunted houses, and show all the signs of fear, such as 
trembling, sweating, etc. 

In the third place, figures are often described diflfer- 
ently by different individuals. For example: A. would 
describe a full-face view of the figure, while B. would 
describe the figure in profile. If a real figure were 
standing where both percipients saw it, this description 
would be- correct. Such cases certainly tend to suggest 
that a real figure, and no mere hallucination, was pres- 
ent. 

In the fourth place, apparitions have been seen by 
two, three or more persons at once. These "collective 
hallucinations," as they are called, strongly suggest an 
external phantom and no mere mental picture. 

PROOFS OF REALITY 

In the fifth place, apparitions which have appeared 
to strangers occupying haunted houses have afterwards 
been identified on being shown the photograph of the 
person. For example : a gentleman sleeping in a house, 
reputed to be haunted, sees a certain figure, bending 
over him when he awakes at midnight. lie notes de- 
tails of dress, feature, etc., and al.so notes that he has 
never seen this person before in his life. The next day 
he is shown twenty photographs. From among the 
twenty he selects one as being the phantom seen in the 
house. The owner of the house then tells him that thia 




HAUNTED HOUSES 



247 



is the person said to haunt the locality in question ! 
Again we are driven to believe that more than mere 
hallucination is at work. 

In tile sixth place, these figures, seen in haunted 
houses, have occasionally been photographed, and this 
objective and physical proof of their reality is strong 
evidence that they are more than mental products. 

Seventh r figures seen in haunted houses often con- 
vey, to the seer, definite mfonnation or give messages 
which the individual in question could not have known. 
This strongly indicates not only the reality of the appari- 
tion, hut the fact that it is a discarnate spirit. 

For these reasons, therefore, we must assume that 
haunted houses are actual realities, and that the figures 
seen therein are, at times at least, outstanding entities 
and represent more or less directly the individual they 
appear to portray, 

STANCES IN HAUNTED HOUSES 

Psychic students can test their power and at the same 
time conduct many interesting and valuable experiments 
in haunted houses. In an atmosphere of this sort, which 
is more highly charged with magnetism than the ordi- 
nary s^anee-room, psychic powers of any character 
ahouid be quickly augmented and increased, so that mes- 
sages could be obtained by speech, vision, automatic writ- 
ing, crystal vision, etc. Whenever you hear of a case 
of a haunted house, therefore, you should make it a 
point to visit this house at once. It is not necessary to 
sleep in it a night, as many suppose, in order to test 
its character. Hold a seance in that house in the eve- 
ning, and striking phenomena will probably result. Or, 



248 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



if you cannot gather together a group of interested stu- 
dents, sit by yourself and see whether you cannot obtain 
direct messages from the intelligences present. Experi- 
ments in automatie-writing, crystal-gazing, etc., may 
also be tried. 



CI^AIBVOYANT DIAGNOSIS OP HAUNTED HODSES 

Clairvoyants may also render useful service by visiting 
clairvoyantly haunted houses and ascertaining and de- 
scribing, if possible, the source and cause of the haunting. 
Visit the house by means of a clairvoyant excursion, 
either spontaneously or when in a mesmeric trance, .et<;., 
and use your psychic powers to the utmost, to discovpr 
what you can regarding this house. When you,find 
youre^ inside it, look about and see whether you can 
" sense " ^ny^spirits, evil or otherwise, lurking within 
its atmosphere."" Endeavour to sense the psychic atmos- 
phere of the house aru^ tpot ti^p «ii[-j of tho se_lmng 
within it. All houses, reputed to be haunted, may not 
necessarily be so, but the individuals themselves may be 
unbalanced or obsessed for some reason, — in which case 
the house itself would be free except from those influ- 
ences which were drawn to it by the individuals residing 
therein. 

Many persons, living in haunted houses, wish to be 
free from the depressing influences which sometimes hang 
about houses of this character, yet do not know how to 
proceed in order to rid themselves of these haunting 
presences. This is a very complicated question, and one 
to which psychic students have in the past given far 
too little attention. In my book "The Coming Science" 
there is a chapter entitled "Haunted Houses and their 
Cure" and I would refer all those interested to the 



HAUNTED HOUSES 249 

work in question. An interesting case is there given of 
a haunted house which was "cured," bo to say, by the 
following means : 

HOW TO "cure" haunted HOUSES 

A trance-medium, Georgia Gladys Cooley, was called 
in to investigate and do what she could, and, when in 
the house, went spontaneously into trance. In that con- 
dition her guides spohe through her and described tlie 
haunting "spirits." They were then charged to remove 
them, if possible, and undertook to do so. This they 
did in a somewhat striking and dramatic manner; and 
ended by reporting the fact that the haunting presences 
had been finally completely removed ! 

This is a very instructive case, and shows us that 
trance-mediums and their guides can be of very great 
service, in many cases, where the haunting assumes an 
unpleasant or evil character. Thus the nature of the 
haunting may be diagnosed elairvoyantly, and the cure 
effected through some trance-medium, and by the spirits 
who operate through him. 

In some eases, however, the haunting may be cured 
by more simple means, — such as suggestion, lessening 
the psychic sensitiveness of those living in the house 
— by diverting the thoughts, by plenty o£ outdoor, physi- 
cal exercise, toughening the aura, etc. 

On the other hand, there are cases on record where 
haunted houses have withstood all attempts to cure them, 
and the inhabitants have ultimately been forced to move. 
Happily, cases of this character are rare. At all events, 
haunted houses present a fascinating and useful field, iu 
which the psychic student can test his clairvoyance, or 
other psychic power, to advantage. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

THE DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION 

The process of communication is doubtless far more diffi- 
cult and complicated than the average person belieres, 
and is even more complicated than most spiritaaUsts 
believe. As stated in a previous chapter, one of the 
great objections to the reality of spiritualism urged in 
the past, is that, if true, many more i>ersons must com- 
municate than now appear to do so, and that of the 
thousands who die, more must come back than the few 
who return through mediums! It was there x>ointed 
out that the reason for this consists partly in the fact 
that ''good communicators" are comparaitivdy rare, 
and that there is necessarily a peculiar psychical condi- 
tion which enables them to communicate through 
mediums. In addition to this a medium must be present 
at the time that an effort to communicate is being 
made, and in many cases the recipient of the message 
must also be reaching out to receive it, before it can 
be given satisfactorily. In other words, the sender and 
receiver of the message must stretch out their "mental 
arms/* so to say^ at the same moment, before they can 
shake hands across the Great Oulf ; and if only one 
does so, he fails to reach the one on the other side. 

FACTORS AFFECTING COMMUNICATION 

It has frequently been pointed out by scientific in- 
vestigators of spiritualism that only after the reality of 
the facts has been proved, does their detailed study 

250 



DIFFICULTIES OF COMJroNICATION 251 

begin. For example: Supposing that a spirit can 
write through an entranced medium — she giving the 
messages in automatic writing. The fact once admitted, 
the scientific study of the case will only have begun, 
and such questions as these would then have to be 
answered: To what extent is the medium's spirit dis- 
connected from the body while the communication is 
taking placeT What is the degree of mental activity 
of the medium's spirit during the communication t 
Does the communicating intelligence act directly on the 
brain and nervous centres of the medium, or in a more 
roundabout manner, and if the former, upon what brain- 
eentres does the intelligence act, and how! 

If a communicator was in life a good visualizer or had 
a good memory, etc., would these factors assist him in 
the process of communication, — and if so. howt 

These, and many similar questions, would have to be 
answered, and it is upon questions such as these that 
many psychical researchers have bent their energies for 
some time past. It is probable that several hundred 
years will have to elapse before these questions can be 
answered fully and the facts explained in detail. 

MPPICULTIES OF THE COMMtraiCATlNQ SPIRIT 

Let us enumerate some of the difficulties which a 
communicating spirit probably has to contend with, in 
sending messages through mediums to the living. There 
IB much evidence to show that the process of communi- 
cation is a very difficult one, for, as soon as a spirit gets 
in contact with a medium and begins to transmit mes- 
sages, he becomes more or less exhausted and suffocated, 
BO to speak, by the dense aura or atmosphere with 
which he is called upon to come into contact. In many 




252 



YOUR PSTCHIC POWERS 



instances we read that spirits have to go away several 
times during the course of a seanee, to revive themselves, 
and afterwards return, refreshed and clear-brained, to 
continue the communicatioDS, They experience great 
difficulty in holding their thoughts together, eonnectedlj, 
during the process of coinmunication. This does not 
mean that they are ordinarily in this confused state, 
but (very often) as soon as they come into contact with 
the medium's psychic atmosphere and magnetism, they 
become confused and their minds tend to wander as they 
would in delirium or in a state of trance. It is because 
of this that many of the messages we receive commence 
well but afterwards dwindle off into incoherence and 
triviality. 



WHY MANY MESSAGES AHE "TEIVIAL" 

This question of "triviality," however, is often mis- 
understood. The objection is raised, that spirits, if they 
really communicate, would tell us something more im- 
portant than they usually do. As a matter of fact, 
however, this is only true in a certain sense. The or- 
dinary social conversation between "spirits in the flesh" 
is not as serious as it might be, and it has been shown 
by actual experiment that human beings, when called 
upon to prove their own identity to another, do delib- 
erately choose trivial incidents by means of which to 
identify themselves. 

Another point is that trivial incidents serve best to 
prove identity, as some great philosophical discourse 
might be given by any intelligence, either in or out of 
the body, and would prove nothing to one longing to 
hear from his own dear one. In such a ease personal, 
detailed and, so to say, trivial messages are often the 



DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION 253 

most striking and the most coDviDcing. The very trivial- 
ity of many messages received through mediums is, 
therefore, their strongest point and not their weakest. 

In addition to this there are, as we know, innumerable 
books written by spirits containing philosophical, scien- 
tific and religious truths of great value and importance. 

INFLUENCE OP THE MEDIUM 's ORGANISM 

Another reason why communication is doubtless diffi- 
cult is that the communicating spirit is unused to the 
bodily organism of the medium. All of us have certain 
mental and physical habits which we form, and it is 
easier for us to do certain things in certain ways after 
we have done them in that manner a few times. If you 
were suddenly transplanted into the body of aiiolker per- 
son (say one of the opposite sex), you would find great 
difficulty in manipulating that body, so as to extract 
from it the best results — to think clearly and to speak 
and write clearly, when expressing your thoughts. It 
is precisely this difficulty which the communicating in- 
telligence experiences in trying to communicate with us 
through uufamiliar bodies. Many of the habits and 
"tricks," 80 to say, of the medium creep into the mes- 
sages, which are consequently often more or less similar 
to the language employed by the medium. This proves 
only that the spirit has to employ the medium's mental 
and bodily habits as best it can, during the process of 
communication, and that it is not as easy and concise 
as many persons imagine. 

SYMBOLISM NECESSARY 

Another difficulty presented is that the conditions on 
the "other side" are doubtless so difTerent from any 



254 TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

which exist here that they have to be explained in 
roundabout and symbolic language. If you had to ex- 
plain colour to a blind man, you would find great diffi- 
culty in doing so. If you had to explain the feelings 
experienced while giving psychometric tests to one who 
had never experienced them, you would also find con- 
siderable difficulty. It is much the same in this case. 
There are no immediate analogies which can be drawn, 
and the result is that symbolism and a language which 
appears to us vague and unsatisfactory is often em- 
ployed in describing the other side of life and the con- 
ditions which prevail therein. 

DIFFICULTIES OF NAMES AND DATES 

Names and dates furnish great difficulty for return- 
ing spirits. Dates, because of the fact that time is not 
recognized by them in the same way that it is with ufl. 
Names, for the reason that they do not represent con- 
crete pictures or meanings, but are as a rule only a com- 
bination of letters having a certain sound. The word 
"chair" calls up to the mind a certain picture which 
can he visualized. On the other hand, the name "Rob- 
inson" calls up no such picture, except perhaps the 
memory image of some friend of yours by that name. 
If that memory-picture is revived in the communica- 
tor's mind, the medium can see this and describe it,-— 
which is precisely what he does; but the name "Robin- 
son" cannot he presented in picture-form (the most 
common form of representation) and consequently is not 
easily communicated. 

As explained in the chapter on Dreams, our hearing- 
centres are less developed than our sight -centres, and for 
this reason verbal messages are less easily given and re- 



DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION 255 

ceived than pictured or visualized messages. The diffi- 
culty in receiving names is explained largely because of 
this fact. 

COMMUNICATIONS IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH 

For some days after death, these diBicultie^ are par- 
ticularly great, and eapecially in the case of suicides. 
Dr. Hodgson, in his Report of the case of Mrs. Piper, 
says: 

■'That persons, just deceased, should be extremely 
confused and unable to communicate directly or even at 
all, seems perfectly natural after the shock and wrench 
of death. Thus, in one case, the spirit was unable to 
write the second day after his death. In another case, 
a frieud of mine, whom 1 may call D., wrote, — with 
what appeared to be much difficulty, his name and the 
words: — 'I am all right. Adieu,' within two or three 
days after his death. In another case. P., he was unable 
to write on the morning after his death. A few days 
later, when a stranger was present with me for a sitting, 
he wrote two or three sentences, saying : ' I am too weak 
to articulate clearly,' and not many days later he wrote 
fairly well and quite accurately, dictating also to Mme, 
Eliza, the amanuensis, an account of his feelings when 
finding himBelf amid new surroundings. Both D. and 
F. became very clear in a short time. D. communicated 
frequently, later on, both by writing and speech." 

OTHER DIFFICULTIES 

Other diflScultieB remain, — such as the probable in- 
ability of the communicating spirit to see the material 
world as we see it, especially at the time of communica- 
tion, the difficulty of holding the mind together while 



256 



YOUB PSYCHIC POWERS 



communicating, the difficulty of manipulating the me- 
dium's organism, and the intra-cosmic difficulties, which 
exist between this world and the next. 

Because of all these hindrances and impediments, 
spirits find great difficulty in direct commiinication and 
because of these facts, messages are, comparatively speak- 
ing, few, and in so many cases inconclusive. When a 
good medium, a good communicator and a sympathetic 
sitter get together, however, very striking and convincing 
results are obtained, as we know from the history of 
Spiritualism I 




CHAPTER XXX 

HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM 



i 



The word "Mesmerism" is derived from Antoine Mes- 
raer, who founded the system and who performed all the 
early experiments in this field. It was known as Mes- 
merism for about fifty years, until an English physician 
by the name of Dr. James Braid coined a new word, 
"Hypnotism," from the Greek "Hypnos" — sleep, and 
this is the word which has been used almost exclusively 
from that date to this. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM 
The majority of persons would claim, at the present 
day, that hypnotism and mesmerism are identical, there 
being no difference between them. They are both due — 
it is said — to suggestion and the influence of the mind 
over the body. Very similar phenomena occur in both 
cases, it is true, but I believe that there is a difference 
between the two processes and conditions. 

Mesmerism is based on the belief that there is a 
definite physical emanation or vital fluid, which passes 
from the operator into the subject while the mesmeric 
passes are being made over the latter 's body. • 

Hypnotism, on the other hand, is due entirely to "sug- 
gestion" — the influence of the subconscious mind upon 
the body. There is no physical influence or effluence 
in hypnotic practice, and it is claimed that all the 
phenomena of mesmerism, apparently showing such in- 
fluence, are in reality entirely due to suggestion. 




25S 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



As before stated, however, we believe that there is a 
difference between the two processes, and that hypnotism 
is due solely to psychical causes, but that, in mesmerism, 
the human fluid before spoken of, plays a part. As proof 
of this, I may cite (among other proofs) the fact that 
clairvoyance and many of the so-called higher phenomena 
are frequently obtained in mesmeric trance, while they 
are extremely rare in hypnotic trance. Other phenom- 
ena could be mentioned, but this will suffice for the 
present. 

PASSES AND SCOOEaTlON 

Mesmerism being due to the passage of a vital fluidi 
from the body of the operator into the subject ; contact 
and pasises are essential. If, therefore, you wish to mes- 
merize your subject, you should make passes over his 
head, forehead, eyes and down the front of the body. 
All downward passes are sleep-passes and all upward 
passes are waking-passes. Placing the hands on certain 
nerve-centres of the forehead, and particularly between 
the eyes and over the temples, will help to induce sleep; 
also clasping the patient's hands and placing the point 
of your thumb in contact with the point of his thumb 
establishes the current and serves to induce the mesmeric 
trance. 

In Hypnotism, on the other hand, passes are not 
essential, though Ibey often help. In hypnotizing a sub- 
ject it is common to ask him first of all to gaze at a bright 
object until the eyes tire,— when the lids are closed, 
suggestions of sleep are given, or the subject may open 
and close the eyes a number of times as you count, and 
this will serve to induce the initial stages of hypnotic 
trance ; the deeper stages are induced by means of sug- 
gestion. 




HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM 



BEMAREABLE HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA 



Post-hypnotic suggestion is a form of treatment often 
resorted to and is a good subject for experimentation. 
It means that the subject performs, after awakening 
from trance, certain actions suggested to him when en- 
tranced. He remembers nothing of the suggestions but 
carries tliem out to the letter. 

Many hypnotic subjects have estraordinary ability 
in calculating time, and can guess to a second the length 
of time which has elapsed between certain intervals or 
carry out "post-hypnotically" a suggestion given them 
in trance, — days or even weeks before. 

Hypnotism is a useful method of opening up and 
exploring the subconscious mind. We are enabled to 
"tap" it, as it were, and get in touch with hidden 
portions of our being which we could otherwise never 
reach. Dreams may be analysed in this manner; also 
unpleasant thoughts, impressions, emotions, etc., removed 
and frequently undesirable influences banished by 
hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotism seems to reach a 
deeper stratum of our mind than ordinary waking sug- 
gestion, and because of this fact it is at times so useful. 
For instance the drink-habit has often been cured by 
hypnotic suggestion. 

THE POVTER OP HYPNOTIC SUGGESTION 

Hence we see that there must be more in the hypnotic 
command than mere advice or persuasion, becauf^o thou- 
sands of drunkards have been advised not to drink, but 
they continue to do so, nevertheless! By means of 
hypnotism we are enabled to reach a portion of the 
mind so deep that it controls the whole being, and the 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



result is that these deep-rooted habits may at times be 
removed and eradicated. 

This is one of the distinguishing marks of the hyp- 
notic state — that a more fundamental control over the 
body and mind is obtained, and, by reason of this fact, 
many cures of diseased conditions and abnormal states 
of mind have been recorded, — which have been other- 
wise treated ineffeatually. 

There is a difference between the hypnotic and the 
mediumistie trance, though not so great as that exist- 
ing between the latter and the mesmeric state. In both 
the mediumistie and the mesmeric trance a form of 
"magnetism" is doubtless employed, and this connects 
them in a subtle bond of union. It is because of this 
that telepathy, clairvoyance, etc., are so often obtained 
in the mesmeric trance, which is closely akin to the 
condition secured by mediums, in which they obtain 
genuine mediumistie messages. 

THE FE.VB OF BEING HTPNOTIZED 

Ulany persona are afraid of being hypnotized, — ^thia 
fear being based partly upon valid reasons and partly 
upon superstition. Properly induced 61/ an expert, the 
hypnotic trance is not injurious; on the contrary, it is 
often extremely beneficial, and, as before pointed out, 
quickens the mental and physical powers, removes bad 
habits, effects cures, etc. On the other hand, when hyp- 
notism ia applied by an ignorant or bungling operator, 
who does not know his business, the result may be very 
detrimental to the health of the person hypnotized. A 
state may be induced which neither the operator nor 
anybody else fully understands, for no one at the pres- 
ent time fully comprehends the nature of the condition 



HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM 261 

thereby induced. The conscious mind ia removed from 
its supremacy, and this is often a fatal mistake — par- 
ticularly when there are evil influences at work, either 
within or without the subject. 

If the operator is a sympathetic, careful, and quali- 
fied expert, mesmerism may prove highly beneficial, 
for evil influences may thereby be removed, by counter- 
acting them and infusing into the subject a supply 
of beneficial "animal-magnetism" which is opposed to 
that supplied from opposite sources. 

HYPNOTIC INFLUENCE PEOM OTHBB MINDS 
Andrew Jackson Davis began his career as a medium 
by being mesmerized, and others could doubtless develop 
their mediumiatic faculties in the same way; but one 
must be extremely careful in such a ease to select a 
thoroughly competent operator, — one in whom he has 
complete faith, otherwise more barm than good may 
result. If you find that any one is trying to influence 
you against your will, you may overcome this by counter- 
suggestion given to yourself from within. If the per- 
son be absent, this may be purely imaginary on your 
part, and the operator in question may be entirely ignor- 
ant of the effect he is producing in you ! There are 
thousands of persons in insane asylums all over 
the world who suffer from the belief that they are 
being "persecuted" by others at a distance, and that 
these others are endeavouring to influence them by hyp- 
notism, etc. As a matter of fact nothing of the sort is 
the case, and their condition is purely the result of 
imaginary belief. Be most careful, therefore, that you 
fully ascertain and prove to your satisfaction the exist- 
ence of this foreign influence before you take any steps 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



to offset it or even seriously believe that such influence is 
being directed toward you. 

HOW TO OVERCOME SUCH INFLUENCES 

When once you have become satisfied that influences 
of this character are being directed toward you, take 
immediate steps to protect yourself — such as those out- 
lined in Chapter XXIII, "Obssession and Insanity." If 
promptly applied, tbis will effectually offset such condi- 
tions coming from outside miuds. If you are in the pres- 
ence of a person whom you feel to be influencinjr you, it 
would then be best to take the precautions and steps out- 
lined in the nest chapter, devoted to "Personal Magnet- 
ism." This will prevent your passing under the influ- 
ence of such a person. You need never fear that hypno- 
tic sleep, even if induced, will last a great length of time 
and that the subject cannot be awakened therefrom. 
Sleeps of this character always terminate spontaneously 
if they are let alone, — though it is always best to see that 
a hypnotic subject is thoroughly awakened before he 
leaves the care and supervision of the operator, otherwise 
he may go about in a somewhat dazed condition for a 
time, and may not be altogether responsible for his ac- 
tions. 

AN IMPORTANT WARNING 

Somnambulism is a variation of hypnotic sleep where 
the subject spontaneously performs a number of com- 
plicated actions and the subconscious muscular activi- 
ties play a large part. A person who is subject to 
somnambulistic attacks should never under any circum- 
stances be awakened suddenly. It is a good plan to 
speak to such a person and suggest to him, as to one in 




HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM 



hj'pnotie trance, that he retuni to bed; and, this done, 
siiggeRt to him that it is impoasiblp for such a condition 
to again occur, etc. Somnambulistic attacks of this 
character may often be cured by hypnotic treatment and 
properly directed suggestion. 

PREVENTION OP HYPNOTIC INFLUENCE 

An operator may prevent his subject from being hyp- 
notized by any other person through forceful suggestions 
to his subject that he will be enabled to resist sugges- 
tions from any other operator — that he will have no 
effect on him, etc. 

If you do not wish to be hypnotized at all, you may 
give similar suggestions to yourself. These Self-sugges- 
tions are called ' ' Auto-Suggestions. ' ' Lightly given and 
persistently repeated, they will effectually prevent you 
from being influenced by any other person. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

PERSONAL MAGNETISM 

We all know the difference between a positive and nega- 
tive personality; between an individual who is natur- 
ally successful and one who is not. The former seems 
to attract to himself success, happiness and prosperity; 
the latter seems to repel it. It is not necessary for a 
naturally positive person to say anything or to perform 
any action in order to make us feel this power within 
him. It seems to radiate silently from him as a form of 
power. Many times, doubtless, we have all stepped 
into a room, an elevator, etc., and immediately felt the 
strong personality and presence of an individual of 
this character, possessing much natural magnetism. 
They may know nothing of this power, — perhaps hardly 
realize that they possess it, although they do, — in many 
cases, to a remarkable degree. Properly developed and 
utilized, this power helped to make the great names in 
history. We may, all of us, cultivate and develop this 
power to a great extent by proper practice, and the 
degree to which we can develop it will make us success- 
ful accordingly, not only in the material things of this 
world, but will also enable us to achieve mental and 
spiritual heights which the ordinary person cannot 
attain. 

"the inexhadstible supply" 
We must constantly bear in mind that there is an un- 
limited supply of Cosmic Energy, and this will develop 



PERSONAL MAGNETISM 265 

personal magnetism to the degree to which we can draw 
upon it. Exercises for doing so have been given in a pre- 
vious chapter. We must have confidence in ourselves 
and in our own powers; for "Confidence in self breeds 
confidence in others, and fear weakens both the brain 
that plans and the hand that executes." We must use 
suggestion rightly in our conversation with others, and, 
without appearing to do so, constantly give such sug- 
gestions as are likely to take root in the mind; and this 
most be hammered in by constant repetition. Finally, 
we must not waste the magnetism we may possess by 
nervous habits,— such as tapping on the floor or table 
with the fingers, pacing up and down the room, etc., — in 
short, all unnecessary gestures. If we save our enei^y 
in this way, it is the same as if we received more of it, 
and this we can utilize to good account. 

THE PHYSICAL FACTOR 
Personal Magnetism depends upon various factors. 
First of all sound physical health is essential. With- 
out it there is little virility, and upon the presence of 
this vital stamina success largely depends. Theodore 
Roosevelt's dominating personality was due largely to his 
extraordinary physical energy. Large muscles are not 
necessarily a sign of this. It is the vital constitution 
which must be strengthened, and, in order to accomplish 
this, the internal organs must be in a healthy condition. 
Proper exercises, devoted to stimulating their function, 
should be taken for a few minutes daily; and in this 
connection the student would do well to consult one or 
two good books on physical culture, — giving directioua 
of this character. Bending movement of all kinds are 
especially helpful. Deep-breathing exercises, which tend 



266 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



to espand the lungs, chest and diaphragm are to be 
re CO mm ended, and if you can stimulate the solar-plesus 
and internal organB by deep-breathing exercises, this 
will go a long way toward rousiue the vital currents 
of the body. The inner psychical causes for this will 
be explained more fully in subsequent chapters. 

THE MENTAL FACTOR 

Next, the mind must be trained and cultivated in 
certain directions and channels. Just here the student 
would do well to turn back and re-read the directions 
given in Chapter VII, "Self and Soul Culture," where 
practical advice on success and its attainment is given. 
The practice of Concentration (Chapter XXIV) would 
prove very helpful here; relaxation both of body and 
mind should follow this. 

The improvement of memory by various methods 
would greatly add to the strength of the psychic per- 
sonality, since it is upon memory that the thread of 
personality depends. Attention upon any given subject 
should be cultivated, and you should never allow your- 
self to perform any action automatically which should 
■be conscious. For instance, if you put an object in 
the drawer of your desk, make a conscious mental note 
of this at the lime, so that you afterward remember 
where it is placed, and never allow yourself to place 
the object there without paying particular attention to 
it. Many people do this, and it is indicative of a weak 
power of attention and a scattered mind. The degree to 
which you can overcome this indicates concentration, and 
hence power. Nothing gives power and strength to the 
mind so much as continued exercbe and concentration. 




PERSONAL MAGNETISM 



THE SPIRITUAL FACTOR 



SpiritaaL development will also assist in the cultiva- 
tion of personal magnetism, by drawing to your aid cer- 
tain spiritual energies which recharge you; — that is, 
charge your body in much the same way that an electric 
motor is charged by external energy. This power you 
draw by placing yourself in a certain receptive condi- 
tion which invites its influx. 

All negative llioughts tend to erect a wall between 
yourself and helpful external guidance, and, on the 
other hand, an affirmative and positive attitude will 
have the effect of attracting or drawing to you this 
additional power. 

Thoughts and emotions also have this effeet. If you 
will carefully analyse your own inner sensations while 
tliinking certain thoughts or experiencing certain 
emotions, you will find that seltish, self-centred im- 
pulses tend to contract you mentally and physically. 
You feel yourself tightening-up all over, as it were, 
and this iuternal action shuts off all outside aid and 
influence. On the other hand, if you think thoughts 
of friendship, love, etc., you will find your being tends 
to expand, and it is this feeling which opens the gates 
of your soul to an influx of higher power. 

HOW TO INFLUENCE OTHERS 

Personal Magnetism is practically useful in the affairs 
of this life. If you wish to achieve a certain object, 
you will be far more likely to do so if you have a good 
magnetic personality than otherwise. The following 
simple rules, if followed, will probably greatly assist 
you in the development of personal magnetism : 



268 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

1. Jast before entering into the presence of the per- 
son whom you are about to interview, call up that per- 
son's image before your mind, and assume toward it 
a positive mental attitude. If you do this yon will 
carry over and maintain this attitude toward that per- 
son when you meet him. If you assume at the outset 
60 or 75% of the mental dominance or initiative, you 
(figuratively speaking) only leave the other person 40 
or 25% of the ground lying between you, which he 
ean possibly occupy ! Your business is to assume at 
the outset as large a percentage of the positive relation- 
ship as possible, and by doing so, you force the other 
person to assume the minor quantity. 

THE USE OP THE ETES 

2. When in the presence of the person whom yon are 
to interview, look him squarely in the eyes, and hold hi« 
gaze and attention until you have won your first point. 
If possible, do not allow his attention or his eyes to 
wander from you until you have thoroughly insured 
his interest and sympathetic co-operation. It is im- 
portant to eatch the eye at the moment you are making 
a particular point, so as to "drive it home" as it were. 
You cannot stare a person in the eye all the while you 
are talking to him, and you should look away part of 
the time, — when you are discussing unimportant pointa 
or leading up to the climax. Many salesmen utilize 
this principle in making a sale. They will draw atten- 
tion to a book or an illustration, at which they ask you 
to look, and talk about it for a moment ; then close the 
book and make a short, quick remark, which will draw 
your attention to his face and eyes spontaneously. At 
that moment when he has gained your full attentioui 




PERSONAL MAGNETISM 

and you are in a condition to receive any statement 
he will make to you, he will come to the climax of Mi 
argument and perhaps ask you to sign a certain paper, 
which you may be prevailed upon to do, under 
influence of his personality. 



BOW TO DEVELOP THE UAONETIC GAZE 



thd 

thel 



The eyes, therefore, play an important part in the 
cultivation of Personal Magnetism, and you should cul- 
tivate and strengthen them by certain exercises wbieti 
will certainly develop them. For example: practise 
gazing steadily at an object for several seconds without 
allowing the gaze or the attention to wander, and with- 
out blinking the eyes. At first you will probably be 
able to do so for only a short time ; but this will gradu- 
ally be extended as you cultivate the power. Next, prac- 
tise gazing at a fairly bright object, and continue this 
until you can look at it for several minutes at a tima 
without becoming affected. 

When you look into the eyes of another person, do 
not look blankly, but will at the same time, and tbrow- 
the whole force of your personality into your gaze,— 
feeling that you wiil influence that person to do as you 
wish. Naturally, practices of this character can be, and, 
in fact, are utilized by many persons for evil as well at 
for good purposes. Those who are endeavouring to cul- 
tivate the higher aide of their nature, however, will fully 
realize the necessity of utilizing any added powers they 
may gain for good purposes only. 

PASSES AND SUOQESTIOHB 

3. Downward passes, as before explained, are sleepi 
passes, and a few of these will add emphasis to yonr 1 



270 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



speech and impress the person to whom you are talk- 
ing. Do not gesticulate overmuch, however, as this 
will detract rather than add to what you have to say, 
A few passes at the proper moments will prove of great 
value. 

4. Do not speak hurriedly, for if you do you will give 
the impression that you are in a hurry, and your hearer 
will unconsciously grow impatient. On the other hand, 
do not drawl your words, but speak naturally with a 
clear, forceful enunciation. The more reposeful and 
calm you appear, the more receptive your listener will 
be to hear what you have to say. At the same time, 
you must be business-like and precise. 

HOW TO PREVENT THE INTLUENCB OP OTHERS 

If you wish to offset the influence of some one, who is 
speaking to you, and prevent yourself from being 
influenced by him, you should see to it that you do not 
allow him to catch your eye at the psychological climax 
of the conversation, but studiously look away at that 
time, and carefully think over and analyse what he 
is saying to you, without allowing yourself to be swayed 
by his manner or words. Look at him in the intervals 
between these climaxes, when he will probably be look- 
ing away from you. Hold your mind in a positive at- 
titude, and never allow yourself to be hurried into any- 
thing! The ability to say "No" and stick to it, when 
occasion demands, has been declared one of the greatest 
essentials to success, by many men who have attained 
great eminence. As Abraham Lincoln once remarked: 
"Be sure you are right and then go ahead!" A clear 
mind and inner mental repose will greatly add to yonr 
power in these directions. 



k 



PERSONAL MAGNETISM 



HELPFUL APPLICATION 



These exerciBes in the development of Personal Mag- 
netism will be found especially helpful to all psychics, 
for the reason that they tend to offset and counterbal- 
ance, to a great extent, the subjective practices of me- 
diutnsbip, and hence balance-up the personality by ac- 
centuating the objective as well as the subjective side 
of one's inner self. All those who are developing psy- 
chic powers and mediumship should, therefore, while 
leading their daily lives, endeavour to follow the prin- 
ciples herein laid down, and develop their own natures 
along these lines. They will find that it will prove very 
helpful to them and preserve "that just balance we 
term health." 




CHAPTER XXXn 
PROPHECY T8. FORTUNE TELLING 



The subject with which this chapter deals is a very im- 
portant one for the Spiritualist, for the Psychic, and 
above all for the Public Medium, for the reason that 
it concerns him in a very practical manner. 

It would seem as if Spiritualism, although an organ- 
ized religious body, international in scope and influence, 
had no standing in the eyes of some people nor that 
its accredited mediums were entitled to any more consid- 
eration than ordinary "fortune-tellers." Fortune-Tell- 
ing (so-called) is against the law, and in many cities 
the authorities are very severe on anything which can 
in any way be construed as fortune-telling. 

Truly, one may be pardoned for believing that there 
is a power back of it which is opposed to so-called 
"Modernisms" — to the several movements of a spiritual 
and religious nature that are freshly putting forth real 
knowledge of our true relations to this life and the life 
beyond. It is not merely a moral wave, not merely 
ignorance of the difference between true and honest me- 
diumship and fortune-telling, but an effort to retard and 
crush the truth. From the present standpoint of the 
court, Jesus, when he told the woman at the well about 
certain matters in her life, was a "fortune-teller." The 
people marvelled over Him because of what He could 
tell and do. To Spiritualists He was a medium, but a 
Master, and one so qualified by time and distance as 
272 



PROPHECY VS. FORTUNE-TELLING 273 

He comes down the ccnturicB to the present age. In the 
21 Bt Chapter of 1st Corinthians, Paul describes the 
gifts of the Spirit (or spiritual gifts) and says they 
ate all of the same spirit. The word spirit here is used 
in the sense of a collective noun or noun of multitude 
— much as we use the word Congreas — and applies to 
the spirit world as the source of inspiration and con- 
trol, the same as with the Spiritualist. 

MEDIUMS AND THE I»iW 

There was much consulting with "mediums" in those 
early days of the primitive church ; for, does not Paul 
again say, "Try the spirits and see if they be of God," 
"Prove all things; bold fast to that which is good." 
Opposition stirs up opposition and puts men and move- 
ments on the defensive. Spiritualism realizes this and 
is now actively engaged in efforts for the better protec- 
tion of its mediums. When one striltes a blow at Mod- 
ern Spiritualism, he strilies a blow as well at ancient 
spiritual truth — that Truth which fills the pages of our 
Bible, for which the early martyrs died and upon which 
the Christian Church was built. It comes as the Com- 
forter which Jesus said he would send in the "latter 
days. ' ' 

Ad assistant district attorney once made a ruling that 
a sandwich constitutes a meal, and so liquor eould be 
bought on Sunday; but no Court can rule that a "for- 
tune teller" constitutes a "spiritualistic medium" and 
have it stand; "The letter killeth, but the spirit maketh 
alive." At the same time Prophecy is a genuine spir- 
itual or mediumlstic gift, and there are thousands of 
persons who have experienced ao-called premonitions or 




274 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



prerisions of the fnttire, aod have felt compelled to 
tell others what they have seen for them. 

Between "Prophecy" and "Fortune-Telling" there 
is, therefore, a very fine line to be drawn, for the one 
ia dependent upon superstition to a great extent, while 
the other ia a genuine psychical faculty which requires 
our recognition and study. 

WHAT PBOPHECY IS 

So far as we can define the distinction between the 
two, it may be said that prophecy depends upon in- 
ternal spiritual promptings, or the reception of definite 
messages relating to the future which are told the me- 
dium by external spiritual intelligences. He acts 
merely as a medium for transmission in the latter case 
and simply gives out what he receives. This is the type 
of spiritual premonition, as distinct from clairvoyance 
of the future, which we have already discussed in Chap- 
ter XIV, In this latter ease the power appears to 
depend upon internal and spontaneous quickening of 
spiritual faculties and seems to be self-originated, as it 
were. It is very similar to spontaneous premonitions, 
therefore ; and, in fact, these subjects are so very closely 
connected that only an expert can define the differences 
between them. 

Unless one has had considerable experience and knowl- 
edge in this field, he is totally incapable of judging 
TFhether a given set of phenomena are of the tjTte of 
genuine "prophecy" or mere "fortune telling," and he 
should study the subject thoroughly before he is capable 
of expressing an opinion upon it. 

It may be well to consider the meaning of the word 



PROPHBCT V8. FORTUNE-TELLING 275 

' ' prophecy. " It is derived from the Greek word, 
prophemi; pro, — meaniag "before," and pkemi "to say 
or tell." There is another word, propheteuo, of similar 
import and derivation, and means, to prophesy, divine, 
foretell, predict, presage ; to explain or apply prophecies. 
— In Greek classical literature, the word prophet meant, 
a declarer, foreteller, diviner, a harbinger, a forerunner, 
a priest, teacher, instructor, interpreter; a poet, a bard. 
All of these definitions carry with them something of 
the idea of a character whose mission is in some way 
connected with the aspirations and longings of mankind. 

A DEPWmON OP PBOPHECY 

The Standard Dictionary has defined prophecy as 
follows : — 

1. To predict or foretell, especially tmder divine in- 
miration and guidance; to prefigure, as to prophesy 
evil. 

2. To speak or utter for God. 

3. To speak by divine influence, or as a medium of 
communication between God and Man. Specifically : To 
apeak to men for God) declare or interpret the divine 
will. 

4. To predict future events by supernatural influ- 
ence, real or professed: To foretell the future; utter 
predictions, as, to prophesy a disaster. 

5. (Archaic) To interpret scripture; explain religions 
subjects, preach ; exhort. 

Under the head of Synonyms, the Standard Dictionary 
gives: "Augur, divine, foretell, predict, prognosticate. 
Prophecy differs from predict by assuming a claim to 
supernatural or divine inspiration. To prognosticate 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWEHS 



is to predict from observed signs, indications, or con- 
ditions. To prophesy in the scriptural sense is to utter 
religious truths under divine inspiration, not simply al- 
ways to foretell future events, but to warn, exhort, com- 
fort, etc., by special message or impulse from God." 

This scriptural definition seems well adapted to the 
spiritualist sense of the word, when we interpret God 
to mean the Infinite Spirit of Good. The verb prophesy 
is also used in the New Testament in the sense of re- 
vealing something which had happened and was un- 
known to the person revealing it except through some 
so-called supernatural source; as for instance, after 
Jesus was pronounced guilty of death by the high priest, 
Bom« of the ruffians, who have their counterpart in this 
day, spat in his face and buffeted him; and others 
smote him with the palms of their hands, saying: — 
"Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, — Who is he that smote 
thee I" Matt. Chap 26 v. 65 to 68. 

Jesus ignored this challenge. Could they have under- 
stood or would they have believed in his mission if he 
had correctly pointed out the man who had assaulted 
himT 

EXPLANATION OP "POKTUNE-TELLINO" 

It is true, however, that the method of arriving at the 
knowledge given is, in itself, an indication of the char- 
acter of the knowledge imparted. Thus, fortune-telling, 
in the hands of charlatans and quacks, is often con- 
nected with such superstitious practices as reading the 
future from tea or coffee-grounds; from cards; allowing 
birds to pick out envelopes, containing written messages 
relating to the future, etc. Such practices are certainly 
to be deprecated by every sincere spiritualist and truth- 
seeker, though it should he said, just here, that many 



r 



PROPHECY VS. FORTUNE-TELLING 277 

p^chics who read the cards in this manner, depend not 
so much on the actual fall of the cards as upon the 
psychic impressions which they receive at the time the 
sitter's fortune is being told. This is often true, also, 
in the case of palmists. There is doubtless some truth 
in the genera! doctrine of palmistry, but it can only hold 
good to a very limited extent. When impressions are 
received, the process is somewhat akin to crystal-gazing, 
where the mind is concentrated on an external object 
while it remains passive and open to internal impres- 
sions; but, instead of receiving these in the form of 
visual pictures, they are given in a more general and 
vague manner. 

WHY POHTUNE-TELLINO IS ROMETIMES TRDB 

On the other hand, genuine mediumistic messages are 
frequently given while the subject is reading the cards, 
examining the sitter's palm, etc. It will be observed 
that, in these cases, there is a certain fundamental reality 
in the phenomena, but it is perverted and unconsciously 
covered up by the seer who is unaware of the actual 
source of the information he gives. Psychic power or 
mediumship is the basis of the supernormal information 
given, but it is under the guise of fortune-telling, 

A far more direct and satisfactory method would be 
to come out in a straight- for ward and direct manner, 
and state that such and such impressions were received, 
relating to the future, and this premonitory faculty 
could doubtless be cultivated by certain practices and 
be used as the student progressed in his psychic develop- 
ment. Exercises for development of these faculties will 
be given later on, in this book. 




L 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

WHY MEDIUMS CANNOT HELP THEMSELVES 

Disbelievers in BpiritualLsm often say: "If your as- 
sertions are true, why do not the spirits warn and advise 
you more frequently, and why do they not help you finan- 
cially or otherwise, more than they dot" The answer is 
simply, as before said, that you are not a creator, but an 
instrument. A knife may be sharp, but it could not 
cut bread without a power behind it. A soldier may 
go to war and fight bravely without knowing the real 
reasons for the war. You are the knife or the soldier. 
You cannot act by yourself or achieve desirable results 
unless the power be imparted to you from beyond, and 
even then the power is supplied for other purposes and 
centred upon other things. The knife does not cut it- 
self, but the bread. Clairvoyant power does not benefit 
the clairvoyant directly, but some third person, and, 
in cases where the student has found it possible to per- 
vert its use and turn it into selfish cbanuels, the power 
has invariably been lost. It may also be said that Spirit- 
ualists may err in their selection of spirit advisors as 
well as in their means of intercommunication. "That 
is true, for we are not endowed with perfect judgment 
even in selecting in this life our medical or legal ad- 
visors, or our governmental representatives and officials, 
our business partners or our friends, or the person to 
advise us as to where we can get the best advice in a 
given matter. The Spirtualist merely claims the right to 
act for himself without let or hindrance from those who 
differ with him in religious views. If he makes mis- 
takes which cause him loss or suffering, it must be re- 
membered that even Jesus, with bis extraordinary psychic 
powers, made a mistake when he selected Judas Iscariot 



A 



PROPHECY VS. FORTUNE-TELLING 279 



as one of the twelve. If it be said, that this seeming 
mistake was a part of a divine plan, then it may also be 
said, that the Spiritualist's seeming mistakes may also 
be a part of a divine plan." 

HISTOBT OP PROPHECY 

There can be no doubt that prophecy has existed in 
all ages and has had its own uses as well as its abuses. 
Many spiritualists believe that prophecy is invariably 
eonnected with spirits and that the explanation depends 
upon their communication. On the other hand, many 
orthodox religious persons believe that prophecy depends 
entirely upon the influx of the divine spirit, and that 
the ability to predict or foretell comes directly from 
God. This is the manner in which it is regarded by 
many people and in many religious books. There are 
many references to prophecy and to prophets both in the 
Old and the New Testament, and any one who accepts the 
teachings of the Bible, as in any way true and valuable, 
can hardly fail to believe that prophecy is a genuine 
psychical faculty which has been exercised by men in 
all ages and is undoubtedly being exerci-sed by them 
now. Thus: in 1st. Corinthians, Chap. 14, v, 3, we 
read: "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men 
to edification, and exhortation and comfort. ' ' Again, in 
the same Chapter, v. 1, we read: "Follow after charity 
and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may proph- 
esy." And again in the same Chapter, verses, 31, 
32, and 39, we read: "For ye may all prophesy one 
by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the proph- 
ets. . . . Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy and 
forbid not to speak tintk tonguet." . . . One more qno- 



280 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

tation; In Ist. Corinthians, Chap, 12, v. 4-12, we read: 
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit, 
and there are differences of administrations, but the 
same Lord, and there are diversities of operations, but 
it is the same God which worlieth all in all, but the 
manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to 
profit with all. For to one is given by the spirit the 
word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge 
by the same spirit; to another faith by the same spirit; 
to another the gift of healing by the same spirit; to 
another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; 
to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse 
kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of 
tongues; but all these worketh that one and the self- 
same Spirit, abiding in every man as he will." Many 
other references of this character could be given, but it 
is hardly necessary, for every student knows that every 
religious book in the world accepts the genuineness of 
prophecy and, in fact, all religions are based on the 
revelations of seers or prophets! 

HOW IS PEOPHECY POSSIBLE t 

Prophecy is a faculty which usually comes unsought 
and spontaneously. When the future is seen in an 
isolated picture or event, it is usually called a premoni- 
tion or pre- vis ion, and many examples of this character 
have been collected and published by the Societies for 
Psychical Research. It may be asked: "How is it pos- 
sible to see into the future, to lift the veil of futurity 
and glance forward as we glance backward in reading 
historyl" Certainly, at first sight such a thing ap- 
pears not only impossible but absurd. Nevertheless it 
is an undoubted fact, and numbers of cases of this 




PROPHECY VS. FORTUNE-TELLING 



character might perhaps be explained more or less ra- 
tionally — even with our present knowledge. 

Thus: certain types of premonitions relate to the 
future welfare of the body or health of the subject 
experiencing them. In such cases we might suppose 
that the subconscious mind, which has a wider range 
of inner experience and knowledge than the ordinary 
waking mind, was aware of certain internal changes 
and happenings of which the conscious mind was totally 
ignorant. In such ca.ses the explanation would be that 
this subconscious mind, having acquired this knowledge, 
would merely impart or "externalize" it in the form 
of a vision, voice or message, or in the form of auto- 
matic writing, etc. 

A second type of premonition might depend upon 
subconscious inference and deduction, — this being far 
more acute and far-seeing than the conscious mind in 
such matters, particularly when the latter is occupied 
with every-day practical affairs. 

Another set of premonitions might be accounted for 
by assuming that the knowledge given is imparted tele- 
pathieally or gained clairvoyantly by the subject's own 
mind. In these cases the information would be in the 
minds of other living persons and would be gained from 
them and given out before the subject had gained the 
fact normally. 

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OP PROPHBCT 
A fourth type of premonition might be explained by 
assuming that discamate spirits play a large part and 
communicate the information to the recipient of the mes- 
sage in question. In this case the discamate intelli- 
gence would have to be in poesession of certain facta 



3 



282 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



or be enabled to see further than the psychic himself, 
and there is much evidence that this is in fact the case, 
on numerous occasions. For example, if we see a spider 
walking across the table, we know that when it reaches 
the edge, it will either stop or fall over, though the 
spider cannot foresee these facta and continues to walk 
quite ignorant of the fate in store for it! Again, to 
use a more forceful example, supposing a friend of 
yours is walking down the street and is coming to a 
cross-street down which a strong wind is blowing. 
Being in possession of this knowledge, you can predict 
with more or less certainty that when your friend reaches 
this cross-street, his hat will be blown off, and, in fact, 
this actually happens. Now, you will see, in this ease 
your ability to predict this fact (or partly see into 
the future) was based on your larger knowledge of 
certain factors playing about his life. It is only logical 
to suppose, therefore, that spirits who may be and 
probably are in possession of greater psychic powers 
than we, can foresee tendencies and destinies, to a cer- 
tain extent, towards which human beings are tending. 
This being so, they are enabled at times to commum- 
eate (perhaps telepathically) statements regarding the 
future which often turn out to be true. This would be 
a logical explanation of many cases of premonition of 
this type, and would explain to us, in a perfectly simple 
manner, why it is that mistakes and errors so often 
occur in premonitions of this kind. It would be only 
what we should expect. 

It must be admitted, however, that there are many 
cases of premonitions which cannot be explained in this 
simple way and which we cannot in any manner account 
for, in the present state of science and of our limited 



PROPHECY V8. FORTUNE-TELLING 283 



knowledge of psychic phenomena. These cases we must 
simply record and hope that the time may come some 
day, when we will be enabled to comprehend clearly the 
underlying causal explanation which will make clear 
to us the real mechanism by means of which premoni- 
tions and prophecies are f ulfiled. 



CHAPTER XXXm 

REIKCARNATION AND EASTERN PHILOSOPHY 

Most rBligious philosophies of the East are based on the 
reality of reincarnation, or the embodiment of the same 
soul in a variety of physical bodies, living on this earth 
at various stages of the world's history, often separated 
from each other by a number of years. The doctrine 
contends that the same individuality is maintained 
throughout all these lives, as a "background," but that 
each life is also an individual experience which is des- 
tined to teach the soul one or more particular lessons, 
which it needed to learn for the purposes of its ultimate 
progression and perfection. The doctrine is based 
largely upon the Law of CompensatioD, which says that, 
inasmuch as there is, in this life, so much obvious 
inequality as regards the material returns, rewards and 
happiness, there must be another chance for that soul at 
another time and under other circumstances, and that 
the poverty and other conditions which may be present 
in this life are for a purpose, and teach a lesson, and 
that quite possibly in some past life, the same individ- 
ual has been extraordinarily wealthy and has misiised 
the riches and power entrusted to him. 

THE MEMOET OP PAST LIVES 

This is a fascinating doctrine and one which, at first 

sight, asks us to yield our consent to it; yet there are 

many objections to this theory of reincarnation, as we 



i 



REINCARNATION 285 

shall see presently. It may be well to answer here one 
main-objection to the doctrine which is sure to be ad- 
vanced by the ordinary critic, and this is, that, if the 
same soul be reincarnated a number of times, it should 
remember its past lives, — while as a matter of fact it 
rarely does so, and if we are to profit or benefit by these 
in any way, one would think that this memory would 
be absolutely essential. 

The Theosophist or Reincamationist replies to this, 
however, by stating that each life is intended to be an 
individual, separate existence, without a memory-bond, 
or connection with any previous life. The soul of the 
individual which reincarnates only reaps the knowledge 
of each life after death, when this knowledge is added 
to the total mass of experiences already gained. Thus 
the individual human life is conceived to be greater 
than any single life, just as a bucket of water is com- 
posed of thousands of drops, each drop being separate 
until merged with others into the whole. In the same 
way each individual life, representing a separate drop, 
would be individualized until after death, when it is 
again merged into the total personality. 

Our inability to remember former lives is accounted 
for by assuming that there is no direct connection be- 
tween the total self and the self which is built up in 
this life through the physical brain. They are sepa- 
rated, though it would take too long to explain here 
exactly the nature and causes of this separation, ac- 
cording to the doctrines advanced. 

THE ABGUM£NTS FOB REINCAHNATION 

Another argument, which is advanced in favour of 
the doctrine o£ reincarnation, and to many minds a very 



I 



286 yOUE PSYCHIC POWERS 

strong one, is that life must uecessariiy be eternal and 
immortal, inasmuch as it is indestructible by death, 
and continues to exist to all eternity in the future, and, 
for the same reason, it must also have existed from 
eternity in the past, and it is "inconceivable" that such 
a thing as an individual human spirit should continue 
to exist for ever after the moment of birth, while it did 
not exist at all previous to that event. 

These are the main arguments, which are brought 
forward in favour of the doctrine of reincarnation, and 
we may add to these one argument based upon experi- 
mental evidence. It is this: that many of those who 
have progressed sufficiently in their psychic develop- 
ment can — 60 they say — remember tbeir past lives, — 
either fractions of them or incidents in them, or the 
whole life may be remembered as a consecutive series 
of scenes and events. Many of the leaders of Theosophy 
and other religious systems of this character contend 
that they eau actually do so. The majority of spirit- 
ualists, however, are opposed to this view, and contend 
that reincarnation is not a fact, though it must be ad- 
mitted that in the past there has been a great diversity 
of opinion on this subject. The French School of Spirit- 
ists, formerly headed by Allan Kardec, contends that 
reincarnation is a fact, and Kardec 's work "The Spirit's 
Book" is based entirely upon teachings of spirits, who 
claim that reincarnation is true! On the other hand, 
the majority of German, English and American mediums 
contend that reincarnation is not true, and spirits who 
return through them also assert emphatically that it is 
not a factl The reason of this apparent contradiction 
was explained in an earlier chapter. (The communi- 
cators merely stated their own views and opinions.) 



REINCARNATION 



REASONS FOB DOUBTING HEINC.VRNATION 

Now, in considering this doctrine of reineamation, 
there are certain factors which we must bear in mind: 

1. The average scientific inquirer begins by doubting 
the reality of survival at all, and contends that nothing 
persists after the change called death. For him it is 
annihilation! The first point to be proved, therefore, 
is that anything at all exists after death, and the phe- 
nomena of spiritualism are the only ones which prove 
this, as before pointed out. Until it is thoroughly 
established that "spirit" of any character continues to 
exist after death, it is useless to argue whether or not 
such a spirit is "reincarnated," for the reason that 
the average sceptic would contend that there is no such 
thing as a spirit to reincarnate! Until this primary 
fact of spirit existence is proved, therefore, it is useless 
to argue concerning this question of reincarnation. 

2. Assuming that this is granted, still there is no 
proof that reincarnation is a fact, if we demand "proof" 
in the scientific sense of the world. In order to estab- 
lish such a doctrine as this, a tremendous mass of testi- 
mony would be necessary, — far more than the ordinary 
phenomena of spiritualism, which claim to establish a 
comparatively simple truth. Yet, as a matter of fact, 
there is far less evidence, as we all know, for the reality 
of reincarnation than there is for spirit-return. As 
"the strength of the evidence should be proportioned 
to the strangeness of the facts" it will be seen that we 
are as yet very far from proving reincarnation accord- 
ing to this standard. A vast mass of well-attested evi- 
dence would have to be forthcoming, and this has not 
been produced. 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



LIFE, PAST AND PUTUHB 



4 



3. It is not necessarily true that because the human 
spirit continues to exist for all eternity in the future, 
it must necessarily have existed from all eternity in the 
past. Physics teaches us that a body set in motion 
comes to rest because of the hindrance or friction from 
outside forces acting; upon it. If there be no friction 
to retard such a body it would, theoretically, go on for 
ever in a straight line. Ouce give a ball an initial 
push, and, provided there is no friction, it would roll 
on for ever without coming to a stop. It might well be, 
therefore, that the human spirit once initiated, would 
continue in the same fashion, since we can see no hin- 
drances to its progress resembling those acting in our 
physical world. Again, a speck of mud thrown off from 
a revolving wheel only exists as an individual speck, 
after it was thrown off in this manner; before, it waa a 
part of the general mass. 

Assuming, therefore, that an individual human spirit 
is in some way separated and individualized at birth 
from the general stock of cosmic life-energy, at the mo- 
ment of conception, it might be that it continued as an 
individual thing thereafter for' all eternity, without 
necessarily having existed as svch in the past. 

THE SPIHAL OB VOBTEX OP LIFE 

In the next place, assuming that life is an individ- 
ualized force, we can quite conceive that this force, 
ascending in a series of spirals, tends to become more 
detached and individualized with each revolutiou 
through which it passes, and that ultimately it will tend 
to become detached and thrown off, as it were, from the 



I 



REINCARNATION 289 

vortex of life as au individual being. Birth might repre- 
sent this process ; and again we see that it is not neces- 
sary to suppose that human spirit must have existed in 
the past because it continues to exist in the future. 

As to the law of compensation, already mentioned, 
this is not really an argument but rather an emotional 
belief, based upon the idea of justice. But, in the first 
place this may not necessarily be true ; and in the second, 
even supposing that it is, the same result is reached in 
other religions, for according to the teachings of ortho- 
dox Christianity the reward of the poor but righteous 
is in Heaven, and according to spiritualistic philosophy 
it depends on individual progress and effort. 



eOW WE REMEMBER P.\ST LIVES 

The doctrine of reincarnation cannot, therefore, be 
said to present a logical justiBeation for the belief. 
There remains the more substantial foundation, based 
upon the before-mentioned experimental proof, namely, 
that many persons claim that they can remember por- 
tions of their past lives and even that they can remem- 
ber the whole of them. These latter cases, however, are 
very rare, and the material from which one could form 
one's judgment regarding such cases has never been 
published. Owing to the lack of respectable evidence in 
this direction, therefore, we may assume for the present, 
and until proof to the contrary be forthcoming, that 
such cases depend not upon reality, hut upon elaborate 
subconscious imaginations and romances which these 
individuals have constructed within themselves, as the 
result of brooding and thinking over possible past lives 
of their own. There are many analogies for this belief, 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and in some cases at least, it has been proved beyond 
all question of doubt, that these "past lives" were in 
reality fictitious, and that the "memory" of them, so- 
ealled, was certainly and purely subconscious imagina- 
tion. Those who may be interested in obtaining this 
proof are referred to Professor Floumoy'a book "From 
India to the Planet Mars." 



i 



WHEBB AND HOW THESE 'MEMORIES" OBIQINATE 

There remain those cases, far less satisfactory and 
convincing but far more numerous, in which isolated in- 
cidents of past lives have been remembered, or in which 
scenes have flashed up before the mind, together with 
the impression, amounting to a certainty, that the in- 
dividual has experienced or lived through that scene 
before. Jlost cases of this character may be explained 
in a perfectly natural manner, and do not afford any 
direct proof of the doctrine of reincarnation. 

Let me explain a few of the causes which may be 
operating, inducing such apparent "memories of past 
lives." 

In the first place, many of them are due to so-called 
illusions or hallucinations of memory — so-called "paeudo 
presentiments," in which the event and the feeling that 
it has transpired become reversed or transposed in the 
mind, so that one remembers the impression as occurring 
before the real event, while in reality it happened after- 
ward. That this occurs in many cases has been scien- 
tifically proved. 

In the second place, dreams or suboonsciously noted 
impressions which never come into consciousness, may 
suddenly flash up, in connection with a certain mental 
event, and this would give rise to a feeling (true, in a 




M) 



REINCARNATION 291 

. we had experienced it before. We had, 



but in a dream, and not in a previous life! 

Thirdly, many experienL-ea, conversations, etc., over- 
seen or overheard before the age of four, when the 
personality is la the process of formalion, and when 
consecutive memory and consciousness of "self" is said 
to begin, may be remembered as isolated experiences, 
and these may also give rise to the impression that we 
had seen them, or experienced them before. Again, 
this is a fact, but it was not in a "previous life." 

Lastly, there are many cases in which the subconscious 
mind noted a scene or event a fraction of second, or 
perhaps several seconds, or even minutes, before the 
conscious mind did ; and when the latter became aware of 
it, there would again be this sense of "familiarity," 
and the feeling that we bad seen or experienced this 
event before. This is true, but it was only a short time 
before the actual experience. 

For all these reasons, therefore, and others which it 
would take too long to give, — the majority of spiritual- 
ists and "psychical researchers" do not at present re- 
gard the doctrine of reincarnation as true, or in any way 
adequately proved, and prefer to believe, until this 
proof be forthcoming, that the individual human spirit 
is initiated at birlh, builds up its own life by its own 
efforts and experiences, and that it continues to improve 
upon this life, by continuous striving, after it has reached 
the spiritual world, in the same mauner that it does here 
on earth. 



i 




I 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

THE ETHICS OF SPIRITUALISM 

As explaioed at the beginning of this Book of Instruc- 
tion, SpiritualiBtii is not only a scientific question, but 
it is also a philosophical and a religious question. It is 
approachable from the point of view of phenomena; 
also that of theology and ethics. The student who ban 
followed the work thus far has doubtless progressed 
to some extent in the understanding, if not in the 
control, of psyehie phenomena, and iields of knowledge 
have been opened up before him, of which he had pre- 
viously been more or less unaware. But all this would 
not only be unavailing, but harmful, if Spiritualism were 
not ethically and spiritually right as well as phenomen- 
ally true. It is no good developing something which 
leads one ultimately only into a mire of harmful results 
and a false philoaopby. If Spiritualism cannot be jus- 
tified from the religious and ethical standpoint, it should 
be let entirely alone by all save the few scrupulously 
scientific investigators who approach the subject from 
that point of view and not as a belief. It is very im- 
portant, therefore, for the Spiritualist to have his belief 
founded in correct ethical principles, for, as I have 
before pointed out, the reproach has been raised against 
Spiritualists that "they are everything but spiritual." 
Unfortunately there are many of this type, but they arc 
doubtless in the minority, and the majority of Spirit- 



THE ETHICS OF SPIRITUALISM 293 

iialists wish to see their faith grounded oq firm ethical 
principles. 

IS IT RIGHT TO INVESTIGATE PSTCHIC PHENOMENA t 

Various questions arise in this connectioQ: 
The objection to Spiritualism may first of all be raised 
that "such things are God's secrets which He keeps to 
Himself. What is the use of seekingt You will find 
nothing!" But to this Monsieur Camillc Flammarion 
replies rightly; "There always have been people who 
liked ignorance better than knowledge. By this kind 
of reasoning (had man acted upon it) nothing would 
ever have been known of this world. ... It is the mode 
of reasoning adopted by those who do not care to think 
for themselves and who confide to directors (so-called) 
the charge of controlling their consciences." If these 
phenomena really exist they must be part of the universe 
and subject to natural law, for otherwise they could 
not exist at all. There is no such thing as the "super- 
natural." All is natural, even if it be the communica- 
tion of spirits. It may be unusual or uncommon, and 
because of this we call these phenomena super-normal, 
that is beyond the ordinary normal experience of man- 
kind ; but they are not and cannot be super-natural. 

CONCEBNINQ FRAUD AND ERROR 

Again the objection may be raised that these phe- 
nomena "foster superstition," but this is based upon 
the belief that the phenomena are necessarily untrue. 
Once the reality of the facts is established, there is no 
"superstition" connected with it. It becomes merely 
a question of scientific evidence. 



294 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



Again the objection has been raised against spirit- 
ualism on the ground that it eneourages fraud and 
charlatanism. To some extent this is true, but other 
cults have suffered in the same way, and all sincere 
spiritualists are the first to expose falsity and fraud 
when they meet it. There are Spiritualists, it is true, 
who endeavour to shelter fraudulent mediums and pre- 
tend that this fraud does not exist. Such a method is 
a great mistake and only tends to degrade and lower 
Spiritualism as a religious belief in the eyes of the pub- 
lic. "Truth is mighty and shall prevail," and Truth 
should above all else be the watch-word of the true 
Spiritualist, 

IS IT HEALTHY AND NORMAL! 

Then there is the objection that spiritualistic prac- 
tices encourage morbid and abnormal slates and condi- 
tions and help to induce insanity. Again there is some 
excuse for this argument ; but as so often pointed out, it is 
the conscious or unconscious abtise of psychic and medi- 
umistic power rather than its use, which is so dangerous 
and detrimental. In the initial experimental stages 
of Spiritualism, some harm has doubtless resulted to 
some experimenters, but this is only a stronger reason 
for urging us to discover and rightly understand the 
laws and conditions under which psychic phenomena 
and spirit-communication may operate, Wlien these 
are once understood, they are thereby rendered safe, and 
thenceforward there is no reason why spiritualistic prac- 
tices should be unsafe — save for those who neglect its 
well-ascertained laws. 

Again it has been urged that it is wrong to communi- 
cate with spirits of the departed for the reason that 



L 




THE ETHICS OP SPIRITUALISM 295 

guch commimipation U "not natural" and that by doing 
so we interfere with the progression and spiritual de- 
velopment of those who have passed over. But the reply 
to this is two-fold: In the first place, the many cases 
of spirit-retum which are recorded prove that these 
phenomena are far more common than is usually sup- 
posed, and for this reason it is not so exceptional a 
thing, but almost a common occurrence. It partakes 
more of the nature of natural law than of an experi- 
mental or miraculous event. If such is the case, it can 
hardly he detrimental or unnatural, since none of na- 
ture's laws are unnatural. 

DOESSPmiT-COMMUNICATION RETAHD PROORESSlONt 

Again, there is no reason to suppose that communica- 
tion retards the spiritual progress of those who have 
died — on the contrary, we might suppose that, in many 
cases at least, such communication would certainly help 
the spirits; and in many cases, as we know, they have 
repeatedly come hack for the express purpose of asking 
the living to carry out some mission for them which 
weighed upon their minds, and they have stated that 
they could get no rest or comfort until this mission 
has been fulfilled. There are many eases, again, as we 
know, wherein the returning spirits have requested help 
and the prayers of the living to assist them in their 
progTes.s, and many Spiritualists have devoted their lives 
to this work — namely, assisting earthbouud spirits and 
helping them in their natural spiritual progre.ss. Many 
spirits have returned to impart certain information, or 
to give counsel, warning or advice to friends and rela- 
tives of theirs, still living; and we cannot but believe 
that they are far happier in doing so than if they were 



296 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

obliged to stand by and see some unhappiness, accident 
or catastrophe overtake their loved ones on earth, while 
they themselves were obliged to remain inactive. Were 
they still alive they would like to feel that they had 
prevented such a catastrophe, and it is only natural to 
suppose that they continue to live in this way and 
continue to take an interest in their loved ones after 
they have passed over. In this way spiritual communi- 
cation becomes a natural and beautiful belief. 

SHOULD THE "dEAD" KNOW OUR SORROWS? 

This brings us to another important question from 
the ethical point of view, and this is that the so-called 
Dead are in constant sympathetic communication with 
those still living, and that they, after they have died, 
have a knowledge of our lives, our trials and our tribu- 
lations. Many religious persons contend that this i 
a very unethical belief and that they should know noth- 
ing of those on this earth after ouce they have died. 
Yet, this is surely contrarj- to all human sympathy and 
experience. A mother, wrapped up in the interests of 
her child, would surely prefer to remain near it and 
watch over, guard and guide it, if possible, tor a few 
years rather than to desert it wholly and be totally igno- 
rant of its life and progress. Yet, this is what ortho- 
dox religion contends they should do ! Spiritualism is 
far more ethical in this respect than the ordinary re- 
ligious teachings, since it tella us that constant, sympa- 
thetic rapport exists between this world and the next, 
and that there is no abrupt severing of the ties of human 
sympathy and love at the moment of death. This, 
surely, is a comforting thought for the bereaved. 



THE ETHICS OF SPIRITUALISM 



THE ETHICAL TEACHINGS OP SPIRITOAUSM 

The religious teachings of Spiritualism are otherwise 
far more ethical than those of any other religion. In- 
stead of a world devoted to selfish personal progression, 
subject to the changeable whims of an external Deity, 
we have in the teachings of Spiritualism a perfectly 
consistent and scientifically founded religious faith, quite 
in accordance with the doctrine of evolution. All prog- 
ress depends upon personal development. As Dr, Alfred 
RuEsel Wallace says in his "Miracles of Modern Spirit- 
ualism" — "The hypothesis of Spiritualism not only ac- 
counts for all the facts (and is the only one that does 
so) but it is further remarkable as being associated with 
a theory of a future state of existence which is the only 
one yet given to the world that can at all commend 
itself to the modem philosophical mind. . . . The main 
doctrines of this religion are: that after death, man's 
spirit survives in an ethereal body, gifted with new 
powers, but mentally and morally the same individual 
as when clothed in flesh. That he commences from that 
moment a course of apparently endless progression which 
is rapid just in proportion as his mental and moral 
faculties were active while on earth. That his compara- 
tive happiness or misery will depend entirely on him- 
self, and that just in proportion as bis higher human 
faculties have taken part in all his pleasures here, will 
he find himself contented and happy in a state of ex- 
istence in which they will have the same exercise; while 
he who has depended more on the body than on the 
mind for his pleasures will, when that body is no more, 
feel a grievous want, and must slowly and painfully 
develop his intellectual and moral nature till its exer- 



3 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

cise anall become easy and pleasurable. Neither pun- 
ishments nor rewards are meted out by an estemal 
power, but each one's condition is the natural and in- 
evitable sequence of his condition here. He starts again 
from the level of moral and intellectual development 
to which he has raised himself while on earth." 

SHOULD MEDIUMS ACCEPT MONEY t 

One other point remains to be considered. It is this, 
that mediums accept money for their services, and inas- 
much as this is a spiritual gift, it is wrong! Yet, this 
is common to all other religions. Do not the ministers 
of all other religions receive compensation in some 
form or other for their services i As long as mediums 
are living in this material world, they are obliged to 
meet the costs of living like all other human beings, 
no matter how spiritual their work or they themaelvea 
may be. If mediums possess genuine power, it is only 
natural, in a sense, that they should utilize it and turn 
it to account, and it is certainly true that by doing so 
they help their fellow men and help those who come to 
them as much or more than men in any other walk in life. 
This being so, it can hardly be said that any aspect of 
Spiritualism is in itself unethical. It is, on the con- 
trary, the most sensible, rational and ethical religion in 
the world ! 




CHAPTER XXXV 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATHI 

Precisely what happens at the moment of death is one 
of the most dramatically interesting and one of the most 
striking, insoluble problems in the world today; it re- 
mains for us the problem of all problems, the mystery 
of the universe, the science of being. One moment we 
eee a figure before us — a muscular, powerful man, cap- 
able of heroic efforts, great intellectual flights, lofty 
aspirations, delivering an oration which stirs the hearts 
of thousands and perhaps helps to sway the destiny of 
nations and change the map of the world ! The next 
moment he is lying on the floor, a corpse, lifeless, inani- 
mate, incapable of the slightest thought, the slightest 
muscular exertion. He is the victim of "heart-failure." 



TOE MYSTEET OF DEATH 

A second and all has changed! Nothing can now be 
influenced by him; nothing is now possible but the 
gradual decomposition of the body and its return to the 
dust from whence it sprang. Could any change be more 
profound or more lasting — since it can occur, presum- 
ably but once in all eternity I The slightest anatomical 
variation in the man's body — so small, perhaps, that even 
a microscope cannot detect it — and we then behold the 
most mighty change which occurs in nature, the pro- 
foundest of tragedies and wonders ! We behold the tran- 
sition from the living to the lifeless, we pass from life 
to death. What is this change we have seen before 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



ust Can we in any way understand it? What can we 
learn I What aee! These are questions over which men 
have pondered for centuries and which still form the 
moat fascinating problem in the realm of spiritual in- 
quiry. 

WHY WE SHOULD NOT PEAR DEATH 

Many persons fear death ; but they should not do bo 
for the reason that, on any theory, it is not a thing to 
be feared. It has been proved abundantly that, with 
the exception of very rare cases, there is no pain at the 
moment of death and no consciousness of dying. Both 
are obliterated by the kind hand of nature. The sof- 
fering which goes before belongs rather to life than to 
death, and, in fact, many of those who have suffered 
from some torturing disease have died with a smile of 
happiness and contentment on their faces. Of the 
physical body we need think little, since the spiritual 
body separates itself from this body after death, and 
thenceforward is as unconscious of it as we are of a 
finger or any part of our body which has been cut off 
during life. The human spirit takes some time to become 
severed completely from the physical body, and for this 
reason it should not be buried or cremated too soon 
after death. But with these exceptions, we need think 
little of the state of the phj-sieal body, since we sever 
our connections with it entirely as soon as we pass into 
the spirit world. What happens after we have effected 
this separation is naturally a question of absorbing in- 
terest to many minds, since all of ua have to look for- 
ward to this experience. 

The statements of clairvoyants and of those "spirits" 
who have returned to tell ua of their passage into the 



WHAT HAPPENS AFTEB DEATH T 301 

next life should, therefore, be of considerable intereat 
in this connection. Let us see what they have to say. 

A CLAffiVOYANT DESCBIPrrON OP DEATH 

Andrew Jaekson Davig, one of the founders of Mod- 
ern Spiritualism, and a gifted seer, deacribes the process 
as follows: — "Suppose the person is now dying, it is to 
be a rapid death. The feet first grow cold. The clair- 
voyant sees right over the head what may be called a 
magnetic halo — an etheric emanation, in appearance 
golden and throbbing as though conscious. The body is 
now cold up to the knees and elbows, and the emanation 
has ascended higher in the air; the legs are cold to the 
hips and the arms to the shoulders, and the emanation, 
though it has not risen higher in the room, is more 
expanded. The death -coldness steals over the breast 
and around on one side, and the emanation has attained 
a higher position nearer the ceiling. The person has 
ceased to breathe, the pulse is feeble, and the emanation 
is elongated and fashioned in the outline of the human 
form, — beneath it is connected with the brain. The 
head of the person is internally throbbing — a slow deep 
throb — not painful, but like the beat of the sea. Hence, 
the thinking faculties are rational while nearly every 
part of the person is dead. Owing to the brain's mo- 
mentum. I have seen a dying person even at the last 
feeble pulse-beat rise impulsively in bed to converse 
with a friend; but the next instant he was gone — his 
brain being the last to yield up the life principle. 

FORMATION OP THE SPIRITUAL BODY 

"The golden emanation which extends up midway to 
the ceiling is connected with the brain by a veiy fine 



3 



302 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

]ife-thread. Now the body of the emanatioQ ascends. 
Then appears Bomething white and shining, lilte a hu- 
man head ; next, in a very few moments a faint outline 
of the face divine, then the fair neck and shoulders, 
then in rapid succession come all parts of the new 
body down to the feet — a bright shining image, a little 
smaller than its physical body, bnt a perfect prototype 
or reproduction in all, except its disfigurements. The 
fine life thread continues attached to the old brain. 
The next thing is the withdrawal of the electric princi- 
ple. When this thread snaps, the spiritual body is free 
and prepared to accompany its guardians to the Sum- 
merland. Yes, there is a spiritual body — it is sown in 
dishonour and raised in brightness." 

now PT FEELS TO "PASB OVER" 

Hear, again, what a returning "spirit" says, who has 
passed through the "Valley of the Shadow of Death" 
and has apparently returned to tell us hia experiences : — 
"When I awoke in the spirit-life and perceived that I 
had hands and feet and all that belongs to the human 
body, I cannot express to you in the form of words the 
feelings which at that moment seemed to take possession 
of my soul. I realized that I had this body — a spiritual 
body. . . . Imagine, if you can, what the surprise of a 
spirit must be, to find, after the struggle of death, that , 
he is a new-born spirit, free from the decaying taber- 
nacle of flesh, that he leaves behind him. I gazed on 
weeping friends with a saddened heart, mingled with 
joy — knowing, as I did, that I could be with them and 
behold them daily, though unseen and unknown, and 
as I gazed upon the lifeless tenement of clay and could 
behold the beauty of iXa mechanism, I felt impelled to 



WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH! 

seek the Author of so much beauty and youth and 
prostrate myself at his feet. I felt a light touch on my 
shoulder, and, joy unspeakable ! I beheld the loved o 
of earth, some of whom had long since departed from 
the earth plane . . . and I felt myself ascending or 
rather floating onward and upward through the ra- 
diance of space. I saw about me many spirits and their 
guides bearing them company through the bright realms 
of immensity." 

NOVEL EXPEEIENCES ON "THE OTHEB SIDB" 

So the human spirit, issuing from the body, grad- 
ually rises higher and higher, and comes into touch and 
harmony with those about it, and with those who pos- 
sess sympathy and mutual interest. As explained in the 
chapter devoted to the "Spirit World," it is highly im- 
probable that there are any physical barriers between 
the "spheres," one from another ^ but they are doubt- 
less separated, nevertheless, by walla of mental and 
spiritual origin. If we arc in one of these planes, we 
must progress upward, before we can reach or re- 
main with those whom we desire most ; and for this 
reason there is a "hell," so to say, for those who can- 
not attain what they desire, — ^which can only be by 
continual striving upward and onward- In this, how- 
ever, they are constantly helped and assisted by spirit 
guides and helpers; so that progress ia rapid, when it 
is really desired and worked for. 



HOW WE TURN BACK TO COMMUNICATE 

On the lower planes of existence eommunicatior with 
those of the earth is, it is said, comparatively, ea^ ; bat 




304 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



this becomes increasingly difficult as we ascend in the 
upward scale. It has often been pointed out that 
descending to communicate with those on earth is some- 
thing like going down to the bottom of a muddy pool; 
and those who desire to go to the bottom of muddy 
pools are very rare, even on this earth! Still, spirits 
moved by ties of love for those left behind, make the 
attempt from time to time; — successful or unsuccessful 
in proportion to favourable or unfavourable conditions. 
This however we discussed in former chapters. 

As we progress, we are said to acquire more interest 
in the new world; and lose interest in this — just as we 
gradually lose interest in one country when we move 
into another. New scenes, new interests, and the new 
environment gradually alter our line of thought; bat 
just as we are always glad to see a relative or an old 
friend from the home town, or the "motherland," so are 
we most happy to meet and greet those who "pass over," 
when their turn comes to join us in the spirit world. 

HOW WB PROOKESS IN THE SPIEIT WORLD 

After these initial stages have passed, upward progren 
and development begin. For many, however, the shock 
of death has a very severe efifeet, especially in cases of 
suicide and those who have met with sudden and vio- 
lent deaths. In such cases these spirits require some 
time to recover their normal selves, and have to be 
nursed back to health, as it were, on the other side. 
The same is true of those spirits who have had their 
minds affected by some mental or physical disease. But, 
after this stage has been passed, they all emerge into 
the brightness beyond, and begin their interest, their 
instruction, their learning and their progress of soul 



"WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH! 



305 



and spirit, as well as of intellect, — which is to occupy 
them for ages of time to come. Those who "die" arc 
received and eared for by loving friends on the other 
side, just as they were when they were born into this 
world. One need have no hesitation nor fear on this 
account. Physical birth is a terrible experience, but we 
remember nothing of it; and there are always those 
present who will tender and care for us. 

In the same way, birth into the spirit world through 
the gates of death is, in many ways, a terrible shock -, yet 
we are eared for by loving guardians and received with 
love and care, — finding happiness awaiting us when we 
paas from this world into the world beyond. 



CHAPTER XXX VI 

BAD AND PERVERTED USES OF SPIRITUALISM 

EvEBY gift or power can be abused ; many in the part 
tiave turned their increased psychic powers into evil 
channels (at various times in the world's history) and 
who continue to do so today. They are known as 
magicians, witchfes, vampires, possessors of the evil eye, 
etc., etc. For the moment it may be pointed out that 
psychic unfoldment and increase of psychic power brings 
with it added responsibility. As our power in this di- 
rection is increased, ao also we are expected to use it 
rightly. If much has been given us, much is expected! 
It is quite possible, it is true, for these powers to be 
turned to bad account, and others injured, wealth ac- 
quired, etc., temporarily by their use. But if these 
powers are used for these purposes, they are usually soon 
lost, and then the student is in a far worse condition 
than before, for the reason that he is not only without 
the added power which he craves, but also has deteri- 
orated mentally, morally and physically as the result of 
their harmful use. 

THE DIPPERENCE BETWEEN MAGIC AND MEDIUMSHIP 

In the middle ages psychic powers were undoubtedly 
used for good and bad purposes. White magic was bene- 
ficial and black magic harmful. White Magic invoked 
"angels"; Black Magic invoked "devils." In neither 
case were the spirits of departed human beings called 
300 




PERVERTED USES OP SPIRITUALISM 30t 



upon, — but rather intelligences, either lower or higher 
than man in the human scale of evolution. 

Another thing which distinguishes mediumship from 
magic, is that mediumship is more in the nature of a 
request, — a calling upon human intelligences for help 
and advice. Magic, on the other hand, depends upon in- 
vocation or demanding the presence and assistance of 
other intelligences differing from the human, and their 
assistance in the work to be performed. 

HOW INVOCATIONS ARE PERFORMED 

For the purposes of this invocation, various ma^cal 
practices were undertaken, such as prayer, the saying 
of certain words and sentences, preparation of the magic 
circle, with its pentagram, seal of Solomon, etc., as 
well as utilizing various magical preparations secured 
from dead bodies and the poisons of animals and rep- 
tiles, etc. These magical practices were usually under- 
taken at certain seasons and phases of the moon, after 
long training on the part of the magician, and in spe- 
cially prepared rooms or localities, which had been kept 
apart only for magical purposes. Exact descriptions of 
Buch invocations and the methods employed are to be 
found in certain rare books on the Ritual of Magic; 
but inasmuch as they are neither healthy nor desirable, 
we do not deem it wise or right to place these teachings 
before the student, who might be tempted, did he pos- 
sess the knowledge, to put them into operation, and 
thus injure himself mentally and morally — perhaps be- 
yond repair. (Students who are interested may con- 
sult:— A. E. Waite, "The Book of Black Magic and of 
Pacts"; Levi, "The Doctrine and Ritual of Transcen- 
dental Magic," etc.) 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

AN EIPLAJIATION OP "WTTCHCRAPT" 

During the middle-ages, also, witchcraft flourisbed. 
It depended upon the use of eerlain psychic powers 
which witches were said to possess, — only in their cases 
this power came directly from the "devil" himself, — 
being bestowed upon them in person by his Satanic 
Majesty ! The witches were all said to meet two or three 
times a year on some lonely mountain top at midnight, 
— these meetings being called "Sabbaths." At these 
sabbaths all sorts of magical esid anti-religious cere- 
monies were held. The sacrament was mocked, the 
devil was worshipped, etc. The witch was said to swear 
allegiance to the devil, who thereupon touched her on 
some part of the body which became aniesthetic, — 
lacking all sensation. These marks occurred in various 
parts of the body, and such marks were consequently 
known as "witch marks." The probable explanation 
of such cases is that in connection with the abnormal 
mental and physical states induced by witches, there 
resulted a peculiar form of hysteria in which small 
zones or patches on the body became antesthetic. Mod- 
em science now recognizes the existence of such in- 
sensible patches and calls them "anfesthetie zones." 
They are typical of this form of hysteria. This is 
the modem scientific explanation of the so-called witeh- 
marks. 

The journeys to the sabbaths were doubtless, for 
the most part, imaginary flights, — resulting from the 
administration of opiates and other dmgs which they 
were known to take, and with which they anointed 
their bodies. At the same time it is probable that 
there were many genuine supernormal psychical phe- 
nomena connected with witchcraft, and this is becom- 



k 




PERVERTED TTSES OF SPIRITUALISM 309 

ing more and more probable as we progress in the 
understanding of such cases. 

DEVIL WORSHIP 

Another form of perverted occultism ia that of "Devil- 
Worship," which exists in various forms even today 
in Paris, the Malay Penimiiila, in London, in New York 
and doubtless in other large cities. At these meet- 
ings, which are devoted to Devil-Worship, various in- 
vocatioBS, etc., are gone through, and the "devil" is 
said to appear in person and bestow power upon cer- 
tain privileged members of the club who are there- 
after enabled to use certain powers to their own advan- 
tage. Many of the scenes of these devil-worahipping 
societies are too revolting to be described ; but have been 
pictured at length on one or two occasions by those who 
have taken part in these invocations. 

THE ' ' ETIL ETE' ' 

Again, certain individuals have a power which is 
known as the "Evil Eye." This is particularly be- 
lieved in by the peasants of Naples and Southern Italy, 
by the peasantry of Southern Spain, Austria, and other 
countries. Any one possessing the evil eye is supposed 
to have the power of bewitching or maiming any person 
or animal upon whom he throws his glance. Cattle, 
looked at by one possessing the evil eye, invariably be- 
come sick and die; crops fail, pestilence falls, etc. The 
evil eye is a gift which is usually unsought, but comes 
spontaneously and is not desired by any one. The sure 
way to guard against the evil eye, — according to the 
beliefs of the countries mentioned, — is to extend the 
first and fourth fingers of the hand toward the pos- 



i 



310 TOUB PSYCHIC POWERS 

sessors of the evil eye — the second and third fingers 
being folded over into the palm of the hand and kept 
there by the thumb. In this position the outer fingers 
somewhat resemble the horns of a hull, and if the hand 
holding the fingers in this position he pointed at any 
of the children or beggars in the above-named countries, 
they wilJ usually turn and fly from the sign-maker ! 
Many Europeans use this knowledge to rid themselves 
of pestilent beggars! 

VAMPIRES AND HOW THEY ATTACK 

Another form of evil influenee which is said to exist 
and is particularly believed in by the natives of Silesia, 
Moravia and Southern Carpathia is that covered by 
the general word "Vampire," In our ordinary lan- 
guage a vampire is a species of bat, and the word is 
employed because human vampires were said to assume 
the shape of large bats at times, fl>*ing in the window 
when their victims are asleep. A vampire is one who 
sucks the life-blood of his victim, through two small 
holes punctured in the skin, in very much the same 
way that a mosquito sucks our blood after puncturing 
the epidermis. These holes are said to occur usually 
in the throat, and the victim is, of coarse, attacked 
as a rule during sleep. 

Those who are vampires after they are dead and 
buried are enabled in some miraculous way, it is said, 
to leave their cofiins and tombs and wander about seek- 
ing victims. When they are dug up, they are found 
fresh with a pink complexion and the whole body en- 
gorged with blood. The only sure way to kill vampires, 
it is said, is to drive a stake through the heart or cut 
off the head, when a quantity of fresh blood will gush 



A 



PERVERTED USES OF SPIRITUALISM 311 

forth and the vampire is killed for ever ! Tradition also 
says that those who are bitten by vampires become vam- 
pires in turn, 

MODERN VAMPIRAOE 

Vampires of a certain sort, however, are not unknown 
in our own day. In an interesting article on "Vam- 
pires," in the Occult Review, June, 1908, Dr. Pranz 
Hartmann described a method of what might be termed 
natural vampirage. He refers to the Bible (1 Kings, 
1) and also alludes to certain processes by which one 
person is enabled to draw vital energy from another, — 
by establishing close contact. This process of Nature 
is governed by well fixed laws. Through ignorance 
of these laws, many people have become victims of 
"Modern Vampirage." Another form of perverted oc- 
cultism which remains is the employment of charms, 
amulets, talismans, etc., which are often sold for the 
purpose of inducing mental and physical disease and 
"Black Magic" which has existed through all ages. 
We must not forget, also, the so-called "Voodoo" prac- 
tices of the natives of West Africa, which are said to 
be remarkable by those who have witnessed them. 



HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF PROM OCCULT AND EVU. 
INFLUENCES 

It is often a little difficult for the modem student of 
the occult to determine just how much he is to believe 
in these stories. Undoubtedly most of them are based on 
superstition, fanaticism and imagination. At the same 
time there is enough truth in them to maUe us be 
cautious and put us on our guard. Never, under any 
circumstances, should you undertake to practise any 



312 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWBBS 



of them for low, selfish purposes. In order to protect 
yourself from influences of this sort, if you feel that 
they are being wielded against you, resort to the meas- 
ures outlined in previous chapters and you may be sore 
that if you do this, you will be impervious to all ordi- 
nary influences of this kind. 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

SNARES AND PITFALLS TO AVOID 

The cautious student of psychics, who desires to prog- 
ress along the right lines scientificallj' and mathema- 
tically, must be on hia guard against all possible sources 
of delusion and error, which may creep into his de- 
velopment, so that he may never mistake the false for 
the true, or spurious phenomena for the genuine. A 
few sources of error and some of the mistakes which 
the psychic student is apt to make will be pointed out 
in this chapter, — together with the means and methods 
of guarding against them. 

First of all, do not be too credulous of the phenomena 
you receive and accept. If you have a chill or a nervous 
twitch, do not assume that this is some message or a 
touch from a spirit band. It may be so, but you must 
receive good proof of the fact before accepting it. 
Should you be too credulous and accept all such inci- 
dents as genuine phenomena, you will soon be led away 
so far that you will become unbalanced, in your point 
of view. 

THE OVEE-NEGATIVE CONDITION 

In your development do not be too negative ; hold 
the mind always centred aod conscious, as I have said, 
and beep the centre of yourself always active. It ia 
only safe to abandon this in very advanced studies. Do 
not be too negative in your daily life or accept the 
advice which spirits or mediums give you to the ei- 
clusioD of all else. You should reason in such matters 
Z13 





314 TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

thus: "An intelligence has offered me certain advice. 
If that person were yet alive and offered me the same 
advice, would I take itf" You should accept the advice 
of spirits as you wonid that of human beings, who are 
merely spirits still in the 6esh. In other words, as 
80 often pointed out before, in previous chapters, — use 
your own Judgment and discrimination on all messages 
received. If the messages are of an erratic nature, snch 
as those which ask you to give up your position, go on 
a long journey, etc., you should be most cautious and 
only accept such advice after yon have fully proved 
to your own satisfaction that it is wise and beneficiaL 

ABUSE OF THE "sEXTH SENSE" 

Do not depend upon your "siith sense" until yoa 
have exhausted the senses you already possess. If you 
refuse to let these work, you can hardly suppose that 
help and assistance will come from outside. No, seed 
will not grow in a soil that is not prepared, neither 
will spiritual help be planted in your mental soil if you 
have not worked to ppepare it for this spiritual influx. 
As a rule, our own individual spirit is the best guide. 
We must consult this first. After that, if you seek 
additional advice and help, this may often be obtained 
from wise and experienced psychics, but I cannot too 
strongly warn the student against accepting the advice 
of poorly -developed mediums, either professional or 
amateur. 

ON CHANGING UEDIUMS AND CDtCLES 

It is not a good thing to change developing mediums, 
if this can be avoided. If you have found one medium 




SNARES AND PITFALLS TO AVOID 315 

who can assist you to develop and who is apparently 
doing so helpfully and rightly, stick to hiro through 
thick and thin, until his advice or help fails you. The 
mixture of magnetism which is introduced with change 
of developing mediums may be, at times, verj- harmful. 

The same thing may be said of "circles." Once a 
circle of sittera is formed, this same group should sit 
night after night, and it is not at all a good practice 
to allow strangers constantly to intrude into the circle 
and take the places of others, If changes must be 
made, let one at a time assume the place of the absent 
sitter and let iiim get thoroughly familiar with the 
surroundings and conditions before a second change 
is made. 

Vou would be wise to mistrust names of important 
historical persons, if they appear in your own speech 
or writing, or if they are obtained at seances. Our 
natural vanity may lead us to hope and expect that 
BUch personages may be present, but there is evidence 
that, in many cases, lying spirits have taken the places 
of those whose names they gave, In this connection it 
may be said that historical personages are not, as a 
rule, most desirable. The best help and the greatest 
teachings have been obtained from simple people who 
are now on the other side. 

SENSITIVITT AND MEDIUMSHtP 

Do not try from the first to develop as a medium. 
Try rather to cultivate your own psychic powers and 
strengthen your own inner nature. After you have 
developed psychically and spiritually in this way, you 
will be far better enabled to receive and transmit gen- 




316 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



m hm 



nine mediumistic messages, — better enabled also to 
interpret them, better able to withstand the strain of 
mediumship, and run far less danger of obsession and 
other unpleasant sjmptoiiis which badly developed me- 
diums are liable to encounter. Cultivate your psychic 
self, therefore, and after this has been duly trained, 
begin to train your mediumistic powers. Be on the 
lookout for evil and lying spirits, who will constantly 
deceive you, if you are not prepared for them, and re- 
main too open and receptive. Study your own phenomena 
and endeavour to disengage genuine psychic and medi- 
umistic manifestations from those due to your own sub- 
conscious mind. This is an excellent and very helpfnl 
practice which will prove useful to you as you progress. 
Do not assume that all figures which you see are 
spirits. They may be thought forms, doubles, etberic 
bodies, or imaginary creations of your own, 

THINGS A PSYCHIC SHOUU) AVOID 

You can only learn to disentangle this wonderful 
chain and separate the true from the false after months 
and perhaps years of study, observation and experiment. 
Above all, remember that symbolic figures and represen- 
tations must be interpreted symbolically and should 
never be accepted as representing the "truth," as it 
actually exists. One of the great dangers to the ama- 
teur medium, as before explained, is that of extending 
bis symbolic, intuitive impressions beyond the proper 
point. If he stated only what was given him, he woald 
usually be right, but if he endeavours to interpret them 
himself, find their explanations, etc., he very often goes 
wrong. Do not "hang on," too long, so to say, to the 
impressions and images you perceive. Let them float 



SNAKES AND PITFALLS TO AVOID 317 

before you in space, seeing and analysing them as tliey 
pass, but do not endeavour to hold them to you by the 
power of your mind. If you do so they will not only 
vanish and disappear, but you will be unable to retain 
the impression you receive and, quite possibly, the power 
of perceiving these images, which you now possess, will 
become less and less and gradually leave you. Always 
remember that psychic phenomena of this character can- 
not be commanded. They can only be sought and wel- 
comed when they appear. In other words, they are 
"spontaneous" and not "experimental" phenomena. 

HOW TO DISTINQinSH THE TBUE FROM THE FALSE 

If you constantly make use of yout own judgment 
and critical faculty in studying the phenomena which 
you develop or those which you may observe in others, 
you will build up within yourself two things: One ol 
these is the power of judging, that is the ability to per- 
ceive the true from the false, and which, above ail else, 
ia what you, as a psychic, desire. It is difficult to 
explain the difference in words, but as nearly as poa- 
sible it may be said that those phenomena which are 
innately true carry with them a sense of conviction, a 
feeling of warmth and familiarity, and we feel them as 
part of ourselves. The other phenomena, although oc- 
curring in our own minds, will seem to us cold, strange 
and extraneous, and when once this power to distinguish 
between the two types of phenomena has been developed, 
you have taken one of the most important forward steps 
that is possible for any psychic to take. Many mediums, 
indeed, never reach this state. Their mediumship ia 
chaotic. It has never been developed on rational, pro- 
gressive lines. But if you have done so, you may rest 



It 

3 



318 



TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



aBsnred that you are not only a gpnuine and true me- 
dium, but that you have passed through the early stages 
and danger-zones which so often beset the student in the 
early stages of development. 

HOW TO OUABD A0AIN8T ODTSIDE INTLUENCEi: 
The second important step which the student takes 
after he has once passed this stage is that while he will 
be sensitive and receptive to telepathic, clairvoyant and 
other forms of perception and also to spirits, both in 
and out of the body, he will be practically impervioas 
to harmful or malicious thoughts and influences which 
may be impelled against him not only on this sphere, 
but by the spirit world as well. If a t ranee -el ai rvoy- _ 
ant, during a state of ecstasy, leaves his body and 
wanders off into space, without having previously gained 
sufficient knowledge, and hence control of the situation, 
he ia liable to be blown hither and thither (figuratively 
speaking) like a soap-bubble by the breezes, and will 
be open to impressions from all sources. These he may 
not feel or know at the time, but he may carry these 
back with him into his body and afterwards they may 
affect him to the detriment of his own mental and spirit- 
ual health. In other words, he has not learned to pro- 
tect himself while severed from the body as he can while 
in it. This is one of the greatest dangers which the 
advanced psychic is liable to encounter, and, at the 
same time, after he has once learned the secret of pro- 
tecting himself in this manner, he may be assured that 
thenceforward his progress will be most marked and 
rapid, not only in psychic and mediumistic development, 
but in the spirit-world, after he has entered it perma- 
nently, at death. 



SNARES AND PITFALLS TO AVOID 319 

THE VALUE OP PSYCHIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE 
INDIVIDUAL 

Psychic development is, therefore, of inestimable 
worth, if rightly cultivated, for the rapid progression 
of the individual human spirit, — just as much as the 
same power badly employed is harmful to the human 
spirit, both here and hereafter. It all depends on the 
manner in which these forces and powers have been 
cultivated and are utilized; and while too much cannot 
be said against their improper use, a great deal may 
be said in favour of their proper application and de- 
velopment in the right direction. It is my hope that 
every reader of this book will develop himself along 
the right lines, and that he may receive help, advice 
and encouragement at all stages of his spiritual uu- 
foldment, — both here and hereafter! 




CHAPTES XXXVIII 



PHYSICAL PHENOUENA 



The physical phenomena o£ spiritualism, as distmS 
from the mental or psychical phenomena, are those which 
relate to the physical world, and in which some mechani- 
cal or physical movement o£ matter takes place. In 
clairvoyance, for example, no such physical phenomeoA 
occur, so far as we can see; but if a table be lifted 
into the air by supernormal means, we here come into 
contact with mechanical and physical forces and with 
these we have to reckon. 



PHENOMENA WITH PHYSICAL CONTACT 

We must begin at the beginning in treating of physi- 
cal phenomena, and go back, first of all, to those which 
involve some form of contact. Doubtless you have seen 
performances of so-called mind-readers who found loat 
articles which were hidden in various parts of the room 
or hall, when one who knew their hiding-place held 
the psychic's hand or placed it to his forehead, etc. In 
most of these performances it is not mind-reading at 
all, strictly speaking, which we see, but what is tech- 
nically known as "muscle reading," — that is, the faint, 
unconscious twitehings of the muscles of the person hold- 
ing the psychic 's hand are felt and interpreted by him, 
consciously or unconsciously, and these guide him to the 
spot where the article is hidden. Incredible as it may 
appear, this is the correct explanation of these cases, 
and you may easily test it for yourself by asking a 



PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 321 

group of your friends to hide some object while you are 
out of the room, and then, when you enter, to give you 
one of their hands. If now you concentrate on the 
faint pulliags and pushings which they will give you, 
you will be enabled to find the article in nine cases out 
of ten. Of conree, this, like everything else, improves 
with practice, and you miiat not expect to be an expert 
on the first trial. Some performers, who have had years 
of experience, grow so proficient in this, however, that 
they are enabled to open safes, whose combinations they 
do not know, while merely holding the band of one 
who does, — or even drive a cab along the streets of a 
crowded city, while blindfolded and holding the hand 
of one who can see the vehicles on the street. 

THE DEVELOPMENT OP INDEPENDENT FORCE AND POWER 

The next step is in Planchette-writing, where the 
hand, as before explained, moves at first as the result 
of unconscious muscular action. After a time, how- 
ever, some psychic force seems to be developed and the 
board often continues to move about, even after the 
hands of the operator are removed from it. 

Beyond this again we have those cases of so-called 
"dowsing," where the forked ha/.el-twig bends to and 
fro in the hands of the water-finder when he walks over 
water and metals. The simple movements which are felt 
at first are probably due to muscular twitchings, but aa 
the force develops it seems to become more independent 
and the twig is bent in spite of the efforts to hold it. 

TABLE-TIPPING AND "LEVfTATIONS" 

The next class of physical phenomena are those with 
the table. A group sits around an ordinary table, and 



a 



322 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

can tilt and tip it, as many of you have doubtless seen. 
The first simple movements, here as formerly, are prob- 
ably due to the unconscious nmseular pressures of those 
having their hands on the table; but later on, as the 
psychic force develops and charges the table, it seems 
to assume an independent character and the table often 
continues to move when all bands are withdrawn from 
it. In fact, as an expert psychic student has pointed 
out "in many instances and especially under unfavour- 
able conditions the phenomena do not rise above the 
initial stage (of simple non-intelligent movements), 
leaving the impression on the minds of the investigators 
that the force exhibited is, if at present unknown and 
unaccounted for, nevertheless a natural and a mechani- 
cal one, and that the action of independent intelligence 
in connection with it, cannot be conceived. This has 
been the experience and has been the verdict of even 
scientific inquirers, who have not hesitated to give that 
verdict to the world." 

HOW THE POWER INCREASES 

Such a conclusion is based upon inaccurate knowledge 
and upon imperfect and superficial observation. All 
experienced psychic students are aware that it is often 
only after repeated and prolonged sittings, that the 
full development of the psychic force is obtained and 
that independent intelligence is exhibited in connection 
with it and that in by far the larger number of instances 
that stage of the experiment is never reached at all. 
That it is, however, the ultimate issue of the experiment 
is now admitted by all patient and painstaking students, 
who have devoted sufficient time to the observation of 
the phenomena and who have carried on their invest!- 




[ 



PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 



gations with an open mind and in a systematic manner. 
Aa will be seen later on, it is fully admitted that the 
mysterious force, thus called into operation in some 
unknown way, issues from the physical organism of the 
sensitive and the sitters, and is in itself an unintelli- 
gent force; but it is with equal confidence asserted that 
when it is available in sufficient quantity and is wholly 
detached from the physical organism, it can be and 
beyond all doubt is frequently manipulated by intelli- 
gences, independent of and other than that of the psychic 
and the investigators assisting in the experiment. 

HOW PHYSICAL PHENOMENA ARE PRODUCED 

The principle upon which many physical phenomena 
are based, then, is simply this: There is a vital or a 
nervous force existing in many of us, as described in 
an earlier chapter, which is usually limited to the sur- 
face of our own bodies, so that unless we touch the 
object in question, we cannot move it. Under certain 
conditions, however, this vital energy or fluid is capable 
of being projected outward beyond the normal bodily 
limits into space, and, when powerful enough, is cap- 
able of moving physical objects with which it comes 
into contact; or if it be a rapid outward projection of 
this force, it produces percussive sounds or raps well 
known to Spiritualists. This psychic force is often un- 
controlled and then objects are moved without the knowl- 
edge of and even against the wish of the medium. We 
then have the so-called spontaneous "Poltergeist" Phe- 
nomena, etc. At other times this force may be guided 
and manipulated by the conscious or unconscious mind 
of the medium. Beyond this stage, again, is one in 
which the medium is unconscious of what is occurring, 





YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



— having passed into trance, etc., aud it is then that 
many o£ the moat striking physical phenomena occur. 
At sueh times complicated and intelligent physical mani- 
festations are produced which are not due either to the 
mind of the medium or to any person present. 

EXTERNALIZED VIT41> ENERGT 

We here enter the realm of genuine physical phe- 
nomena produced by spirit-intelligencea. Most of the 
communications arc obtained through raps, following 
a code. Playing upon musical instruments, etc., are 
due to this source. In other words, after a certain 
point has been reached, the externalized vital energy 
or psychic power of the medium is manipulated by an 
external intelligence, and they can even create forms 
or phantoms by utilizing it, as will be explained in the 
chapter devoted to Materialization. 

CONTROLLING THE PHENOMENA 

Very interesting experiments have been conducted in 
the past in controlling these physical phenomena, but 
not much success has yet been attained in this direction. 
There is here a wide field for experiment which the 
thoughtful student might enter. Thus, on one occa- 
sion, s medium who had the power of producing raps 
was hypnotized, and it was suggested that raps should 
be produced at will according to the suggestion of the 
hypnotist. This was completely successful. It was also 
suggested that raps be obtained on any article of furni- 
ture which the hypnotist would suggest. This also suc- 
ceeded. The range and variety of physical phenomena 
are very great, including manifestations such as: raps. 
table-Ievitations, movements of objects without contact. 




PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 325 

playing upon musical instraments without apparent 
cause, spirit and thougbt-pfaotography, materialization, 
slate-writing, trumpet-phenomena, etc. 

THE EFFECT OP WGHT 

All physical phenomena seem to be hindered very 
largely by light, — either daylight or artificial light, and 
they can very rarely be produced except in darkness. 
Should you attempt to obtain phenomena of this char- 
acter, therefore, it would be well for you to sit in the 
darkness, especially at first, and then request that more 
and more light be permitted as your power increases and 
the phenomena appear. Most mediums begin their de- 
velopment by seating themselves in a cabinet in a dark- 
ened room, and often it is necessary to sit in this way 
every evening for several weeks or even months before 
any phenomena appear. If you are naturally psychic, 
however, and physical phenomena are going to be mani- 
fested through your mediuraship, you would doubtless 
only have to sit for a fraction of this time in order for 
the first manifestations to make themselves felt, and 
probably afterwards you would be so interested in the 
process that you would not count the time you spent in 
your development. 

FIRST SYMPTOMS AND PHENOMENA 
It is probable that the first indications of phenomena 
of this character you will receive are tiny spots of light 
which form before you in space, and either suddenly 
appear or remain stationary for some time, and then 
join theoiselves together, forming one larger light. As 
time progresses you will see that this light, cloudy mass 
will become more and more definite in outline and shape. 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



and will probably begin to assume the shape of a phan- 
tom or form standing before you. When this stage 
has been reached you should concentrate your receptive 
faculties and endeavour to get en rapport with this 
form (for such it now is) and after a time you will 
doubtless be able to establish more or less intelligent 
mental communication and exchange messages. This 
will usually appear before physical phenomena become 
manifest, though in certain cases it may be later on. 
Dr. Baradue of Paris succeeded, on several oecaaioiis, 
in photographing those groups of light or masses of 
matter which thus floated before him, and the student 
who has once succeeded in receiving manifestations of 
a lilie nature, might well conduct similar esperimenta, 
if he be sufficiently alert and able to do so. If not, a 
friend who is with him and has attended his process 
of development might endeavour to take these photo- 
graphs at the moment when the psychic states they are 
vividly present before him. 

There are thus two ways of cultivating physical me- 
diumship. One is to sit in the dark : the other is to ex- 
periment more or less consciously in light or semi-dark' 
ness, and when a certain amount of power has been 
gained in this direction, to endeavour to transfer or 
carry this over into the dark seance and to transmit 
this power to a spirit who will thenceforth utilize it and 
by its aid produce physical phenomena. 

OEVELOPINO IN THE DARK 

If you sit for physical development in the dark, yoa 
are never sure what kind of phenomena you are to ob- 
tain. In a seance this is beneficial, since you should 
never aim to get one type of phenomena, as before ex- 





PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 

plained, for if you do you shut out by your attitude 
all other phenomena which might spontaneously develop. 
At the same time it is always satisfactory for the be- 
ginner to be able to control his phenomena a little, 
especially at first, and for this reason the second method 
of experimentation is advisable, and if desired might 
be carried out at the same time as the other method 
of development, so that the two progress side by side. 
If you sit in the dark you should by all means provide 
yourself with a cabinet, since this will tend to concentrate 
the force, and much less energy will have to be expended 
by you for the production of any phenomena you may 
obtain. Also you should abstain from using your will 
or thinking consciously of practical, every day affairs. 
Make the mind a blank, holding only the thought of 
Self, and await results. 

HOW TO DEVELOP IN THE LIGHT 

In developing your power for the production of physi- 
cal phenomena along the other line mentioned, it is 
best to begin with simple experiments and gradually 
work up to the more complicated ones. For example: 
Begin with a planchette or ouija-board, placing the tips 
of the fingers on the board, and after it has begun to 
move rapidly to and fro or round and round, very grad- 
ually withdraw the hand, and see whether or not the 
board continues to move about. Again, when the table 
has begun to tip and rise into the air (two or three 
legs) as the result of placing your hands upon it, 
gradually withdraw your fingers and see whether the 
table remains suspended, or when it is at its highest 
point and you feel that it is thoroughly charged with 
your "fluid," drop the whole force of your being into 



Q 

3 




YOUH PSYCHIC POWERS 



your Will and see if you cannot levitate the table com- 
pletely from the floor. Again, if raps are coming on 
the table upon which your hands rest, see if these can- 
not be obtained when your hands are removed a fraction 
of an inch from its surface, and if they are, endeavour 
to produce raps by making a motion towards the table 
as though hitting it, stopping short a quarter or half 
an inch above its surface. If you are successful, a rap 
or a sound in the table-top will come, following this 
movement. 



INSTRUMENTS FOR TESTING TOUB POWKB 
A number of simple devices have been constructed 
with the object of testing mediumsbip in its early stages, 
and one or two of these you could make at home, and this 
would prove very helpful to you. Thus: You might 
suspend a small pith or cork-ball by means of a silk 
thread, five or six inches long, from a hook. If now yon 
place the fingers of one hand almost touching this ball 
and leave it there for some moments, you may, if success- 
ful, succeed in causing this ball to move either towards or 
away from your fingers as you will. This is a very use- 
ful little experiment which may be tried on many occa- 
sions and will be found very beneficial in developing sim- 
ple physical phenomena. Another device which may be 
employed is the following : Procure a straw such as used 
at the soda-fountaina, and pass a needle through it 
directly in the centre. Press the lower end of the needle 
into a large, flat cork ; see that the straw revolves easily 
upon the slightest pressure. Place your fingers nearly 
touching one end of the straw and icill that it shall 
move either to the right or to the left. This instrument 



f 



PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 



329 



has proved very successful in many cases and will prob- 
ably prove more sensitive than the last. 

There are more complicated scientific instruments 
which have been devised to test the extemalization of 
the human fluid, and the power of the will. These in- 
struments have been used with great beneflt by mauy 
scientifle students. 

HOW TO BEGIN 
When the student has progressed thus far, he is ready 
to try his first experiment in the movement of physical 
objects lying on his table. Begin with a very small, light 
object, such as a cork. Do not choose any metal ob- 
ject. Place the finper-tips of both hands on either side 
of the object, nearly touching it. Wait until you feel 
distinct tingling sensations in the fingers, and if this 
sensation extends to the elbows, or even to the shoulders, 
so much the better, Endeavour to construct by ymir 
will and in imagination, so to speak, a fine thread or 
hair, composed of psychic rays, passing between your 
fingers and supporting the object in question. Con- 
centrate on this for some moments before you make any 
physical movement. Then, very slowly raise the fingers 
and sec whether the cork is influenced to follow the upper 
direction of your fingers. If eo, you have begun your 
course of physical raediumship! As this initial experi- 
ment is very important, it would be well to dwell upon 
it at somewhat greater length, since nothing is so dis- 
couraging to the beginner as innumerable tests and 
experiments of this kind which fail one after the other. 
(Of course, perfectly Qon-mediumistic persons will con- 
tinue to fail, bat natural psychics will not.) 




3 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW TO OBTAIN THE FIRST PHENOMENA 

We have Been in an earlier chapter that the aura 
extends from the body and particularly the 6nger-tips, 
and that this human fluid ia capable of projection at 
will. Now, it is this fluid which is the basis or substance 
out of which the psychie threads or rays are spun, and 
these threads, when they have stretched from finfrer to 
finger, and gained sufficient solidity, are capable of lift- 
ing quite heavy objects. Dr. Ochorovitz, who has 
studied these rays for years, calls them "rigid rays" and 
that his medium, Mademoiselle Tomczyk, can 
by an effort of will construct a psychic thread so strong 
that it can be heard scraping against solid ohjecta and 
even seen occasionally, — yet it does not exist as a physi- 
cal reality, for the space between the fingers and the 
object may be cut without severing the connection ! 

Now, these psychic threads are woven not of physical 
but of etherie or astral matter, and as we do not know 
as yet how to mould or manipulate this accurately, we 
have to do the best we can by the power of the human 
will. The process to be followed therefore is: first, vivid 
imaginary construction of these rays or threads; second, 
projection of the vital fluid; and third, the weaving of 
this together into the rigid rays by an effort of will. 
If the student can follow this process and persistently 
carry out the instructions, he will doubtless succeed in 
time in moving small, light objects, — that is, if he is 
at all gifted with this phase of mediumship. 

HOW TO CONSTRUCT THE VITAL THREADS OB "bIOID SATS" 

The details of this process may now be given. First 
of all, place yourself in a relaxed, restful condition. 



f 



PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 331 

Then think intently of the threads or rays which you 
wish to produce. Imagine these just like any other 
threads coming from your finger-tips and becoming more 
and more dense and solid aa they emerge. Think of the 
strips of fluid you saw between your finper-tips in trying 
the experiments mentioned in Chapter XSV, devoted to 
"the human fluid." When you have formed these vital 
raya clearly in your mind and have them all ready to 
project, so to say, extend the fingers and by a strong 
effort of will, endeavour to project this energy, into 
space, beyond the finger-tips. After a very few trials, 
you will doubtless begin to do so. This you will feel in 
the form of "pins and needles" sensations in the finger- 
tips. They will also get warm, perhaps perspire. When 
this second stage has been reached, you are ready to 
proceed with the third. The fluid thus projected is not 
in the form of rigid rays or threads, but rather a vapor- 
ous mass, a soft cloud, — if the term be allowed, — and you 
must toughen and strengthen this by will-power. After 
the projection has taken place, think and will intently 
that this shall happen, and is happening, and at the 
same time imagine your consciousness in your finger- 
tips themselves, moulding and "toughening" these vital 
rays. If you do this, you will -surely succeed in time, — 
provided you go at the exercise in the right manner, 
and "stick to it" persistently. 

TBANSPERHINO THE POWER 

When the student has progressed thus far, the final 
step must be taken, namely the transferring of this power 
to the control of a "spirit" or outside intelligence. 
This is a very delicate and subtle process, which is very 
little understood, even by mediums. The best process 



332 ■ TOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

u gradually to develop the power of going into trsnce 
eoincideutally with the development of these physical 
phenomena. Once yon have gained the power of pro- 
jecting your fluid at will and moving material objects by 
its aid (which is probably attained by an extreme effort 
of will) you should endeavour to hand over this manipu- 
lative power to another iDtelligene^e. You cannot do this 
consciously so you can only hope that the transference 
will take plaee when you have passed into trance. You 
should endeavour, therefore, to pass into trance while 
actually conducting the above mentioned experiments, 
and the proof of the fact that this transference does take 
place is found in the fact that the most striking physical 
phenomena at a seance always occur when the medimn it 
in deep trance. The deeper the trance, the better the 
phenomena! In other words, the more the medium's 
will is in abeyance, the more opportunity is there given 
to the external will of the spirit to become active and 
bring about the required results. This fact is very 
strikingly proved by nearly all the best physical medionis 
in the history of Spiritualism. 

OATHBRINQ VFTAL ENEatOY FROM THE CmCLB 

If you are unable to move material objects alone, you 
may perhaps be enabled to do so after gathering strength 
from others. You may do this either by forming a chain 
and gathering this energy by an effort of will, before 
you make your experiment, or by placing your hands in 
position and asking the two members of the chain near- 
est to you to place their hands upon your temples, or 
one on your forehead, and the other over the solar 
plexus. In this way a vital magnetic current is estab- 



PHYSICAL PHENOMENA 



333 



lished which may greatly add to your powers and enable 
you to move objects and produce phenomena where you 
would otherwise fail. 



-Phovogkaphs aiY banrd on tke belief tkil tkere 
k a ^Mrimal bodj, rryWiwg in i^ipnnBee the pl^jii* 
eil bodj, vUek if wa/Baeaiiy nlid to be pkuDocnphed 
lyf Beaiis of the coMrm and lamiiie platen Uaoal^ 

fdhiiD or p^TiAie; poaHaBii^ tbe peculiar po««r of 
reDderin^ the ^irinial body apparent t» the cameia . 
The aiedhni seeBs to act as a aoit of oonnectin^ link 
or inleniediarT betveen the body and the photoeraphie 
plate, thoo^ the exael nature of the mediiuniitie infio- 
enee is at jet unknown. Here is a &ld for stn^T by 
expert photogr^then and bj irinitig^, to aaoeitain its 
limits and extent. 



To many it may appear incredible that any qiiritnal 
body is soffieiently material to be fdiolofnphed by the 
earners, for it would mean that this body is capable of 
lefleeting li^t-wsTes, this being the primaiy necessity 
in obtaining photogrsphs at alL Tec as Sr Oliver 
Lodge has pointed out, there is hardly anything more 
incredible in this than in taking the photograph of the 
reflection of an object in the nuiror, whidi is quite posa- 
ble. In this case there is no solid object photographed 
— merely the reflected li^t-waves whi^h are themselres 
intangible and invisible. 

We know from exx>eriment that the photc^raphie 



THOUGnT-PIIOTOGRAPIIT 



335 



9 is far more sensitive thaa the human eye. Physi- 
cians tell us that it is possible to photograph an eruption 
on the body before it actually occurs, that is, before it iB 
visible to us (such as smallpox). 

On the other hand, it is also possible to photograph 
thousands of stars in the heavens, which are invisible 
to the eye, even with the most powerful telescope. A 
photographic plale can Iherefore detect objects insensi- 
ble to the eye, and hence it is reasonable to suppose — 
inasmuch as spiritual bodies doubtless exist, but are just 
beyond the range of our vision, — that the camera should 
be quite able to detect them, and spirit photographs are 
the result. 



TWO SOURCES OF ERKOR, Am> HOW TO OUARD A0AIN8T TBEU 
In obtaining spirit-photographs you must be on your 
guard against two possible sources of error. The first 
is, that you are liable to see faces and likenesses in the 
photograph which do not really exist at all — you con- 
struct them in imagination as you would faces in a coal- 
fire. The second danger to be avoided (if you are deal- 
ing with a professional spirit- photographer) is that of 
fraud. There has doubtless been much trickery in this 
department in the past, and if you wish to be sure 
that you are not victimized you should take your own 
plates with you, see them inserted in the camera and 
watch their development after the picture has been 
taken. Even in this case you are liable to be imposed 
npoD, unless you are very careful. 

HOVr TO BEGIN YOUB DEVELOPMENT 

The most satisfactory coiirse to pursue is to experi- 
ment yourself and not depend upon a professional spirit- 



336 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

photographer for your results. If you are at all sensi- 
tive and persevering, you will doubtless obtain genuine 
spirit-photographs at the end of a certain period of time. 
Many hundreds of p»?r8ons have done so and there is 
no reason why you should not, if you are determined 
to obtain them. 

The best method is to sit privately with a friend of 
yours, who is both sympathetic and more or less medium- 
istic, and hold a short seance, seated at the table, before 
you begin your experiments in photography. If yott ob- 
tain messages by means of tippings of the table, raps, 
automatic-writing, etc., so much the better, and if intel- 
ligent communication is thus established, ask your spirit- 
friends to appear for you on the plate when the experi- 
ments are being held. They may promise to do so, but 
fail to appear. Do not be discouraged by this, as they 
may be perfectly willing to help you, but for some rea- 
son or other are unable to make their forms visible on 
the photographic plate. If you persist, however, you 
will doubtless obtain interesting results in a short time, 

HOW TO TAKE THE PHOTOQEAPHS 

After this preliminary stance, you should seat your 
subject in a ehair against a dark background, and focus 
the camera as you would were you taking his picture 
in the ordinary way. The photographic plate should, if 
possible, be held by both of you between your hands in 
the dark room, before bemg inserted in the camera, so 
as to get it impregnated with your "magnetism." After 
he has taken up his position, and the camera is properly 
foeussed, you should then ask your spirit-friejids to come 
and appear on the plate, if possible. Do not exercise 
your will, however, nor think of any special object in 



f 



THOUGHT-PHOTOGRAPHT 337 

particular, nor any person, but make your minds nega- 
tive. If positive, you are quite likely to obtain thought- 
photographs instead. Ask your invisible helpers to give 
you some sign, if possible, such as three raps when they 
are ready to appear, etc. If you obtain these, take the 
picture at once, if not, sit until you get into the requisite 
mental condition, then take the photograph and after- 
ward develop it carefully. It is improbable that you 
will obtain any definite results for the first few experi- 
ments, — but many do, even from the start, and this is 
doubtless one of the most promising of all the fields of 
psychic investigation for the student to enter. 

"RADIOaRAPHS," AND HOW TO OBTAIN THXH 

The next thing to do is to endeavour to secure photo- 
graphs of the rays or aura of the human body. These 
impressions on the photographic plafe arc secured com- 
paratively rarely, for the reason that the body of the 
subject must become "radio-active" to some extent be- 
fore an impression of this kind is possible. Such pic- 
tures are consequently called "Radiographs," and a 
number of these have been obtained by Dr. Ochorovicz 
of Poland. The rays in question, which impress the 
photographic plates in such cases, seem to emanate from 
the etheric double and not from the physical body, for 
the reason that they do not follow the anatomical dis- 
tribution of the nerves of the body. The "double," de- 
tached after the manner described in Chapter XXVI, 
can often aJTect the plates in this way, and spirits can do 
80, but it is not common for the human body to be able 
thoa to aSect them. 




yOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



HOW TO OBTAIN THODOHT-PHOTOOaAPHS 
The third and most interesting phase, in a sense, for 
the esperimenter is that of "Thought-Photography." 
The most sensitive plates that can be procured should be 
used for this purpose and the experiments conducted in 
the dark, (as indeed should the Radiograph experi- 
ments). The plate may be held between the palnu of 
the hands or placed against the forehead or over the 
solar plexus, next to the skin, and must be left there 
for a considerable time — half an hour or longer, if pos- 
sible. During this time the snbject should think in- 
tensely of a certain figure or object, such as a cat, a 
chair, a ship, — as the case may be. He should keep this 
before his mind vividly and intensely and never allow 
it to become blurred or indistinct. Holding it there by 
an effort of will, he should next endeavour to impress 
this upon the photographic plate, and should also try to 
feel inwardly the process going on within him — the flow 
of the magnetic current to the spot beneath the plate, 
etc. 

ANOTHER WAT TO PRODUCE THOUGH T-PUOTOQKAPHS 

Another way of obtaining thought- photographs is to 
place a plate wrapped in black paper, or placed in an 
opaque black envelope, on the table, and over it place 
the finger-tips for some time, — usually from 5 to 10 
minutes. Then think or will that a certain thought or 
image will be impressed upon the plate; and if you are 
at all developed along this line, the impress will be left 
on the plate, through the paper. Any object can be 
selected — a round ring of light, a triangle, a face, etc. 
It is best to begin with simple objects, because the mind 




f 



THOUGHT-PHOTOaRAPHT 



339 ^^W 



eeems able to impress this upon the plate more readily 
and clearly than a more complex object, of which it can- 
not form BO clear an outline. 

Ton must not be disappointed if you do not succeed 
at first in this, and you may have to develop (and thus 
spoil) a number of plates before you get any impression 
at all upon them. The first thing you will get, probably, 
will be a spot of light, or a series of small spots, as the 
fluid finds its way through the opaque paper, unto the 
plate. Tou must remember that the human fiuid is the 
instrument or intermediary, through which photographs 
of this character are made, and hence you must learn 
the art of the projection of this fluid, as outlined in the 
chapter devoted to "Physical Phenomena," before you 
can hope successfully to impress a photographic plate. 
Once you have done so, the rest will be simply a matter 
of development ; and you will find it one of the moat in- 
teresting and fascinating subjects for investigation in 
the whole realm of psychics. 

PHOTOGRAPHS OP PSYCHIC FORMS AND EMOTIONS 
In many cases photographs of emotions have been suc- 
cessfully taken, especially of late, and Monsieur Darget 
has narrated a number of experiments of this character 
to the French Academy o£ Sciences, which has accepted 
his report as authentic. It is thus evident that Thought- 
Photography has at length claimed a place in the scien- 
tific world, and, this being so, it is only a matter of care- 
ful experimenting on the student's part before he obtains 
photographs of this character. 

An interesting series of experiments might be tried 
by the scientifically minded inquirer, namely, to ob- 
tain photograph? of mediums in trance, while they 




340 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



are obtaining Automatic-Writing, Crystal-Qasdng, etc, 
and also of those who are on the point of dying. Such 
experiments would doubtless reveal many changes in the 
Aura, and also the presence of Thought-Images and pos- 
sibly Spirit-Forms which would otherwise be quite unsus- 
pected by those present. 




CHAPTER XL 

MATERIALIZATION 

Materialization means the process of rendenDg solid 
or material, for a longer or shorter time, bodies through 
which disembodied spirits may function and communi- 
cate. Materialization usually occurs at seances in which 
a group of people are gathered together, and rarely or 
never when the medium is alone. The reason for this 
ia probably that the necessary conditions are lacking, 
these being chiefly the lack of sufficient vital energy, 
which is drawn from the circle by the medium and 
utilized for the purposes of materialization. 

THE MARVELS OF MATERIALIZATION 

Many factors play a part in this mysterious phe- 
nomenon. Considered from the physical or material 
point-of-view, there is the reality of the phantom, and 
from the psychological or mental point-of-view, there 
is the mind of the materialized entity to account for. 
If we were always sure that the materialized figure 
were really the person it claimed to be, this latter diBB- 
eulty would be overcome, but as we shall see later, there 
are many objections to this simple view of the ca«e in 
all instances, and thus the problem is rendered more 
complex. 
H^ Prom the purely physical point-of-view, the phe- 

^^ nomena of materialization are the most bafBing and the 
^H most mysterious in the whole realm of Spiritualism. A 




342 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



few minutes before, nothing existed in the cabinet, save 
the entranced medium. Now, there is a solid, tangible 
form possessing all the properties and appearances of 
matter, often having solid 3esh and bones just as a 
human being would, — the flesh being warm and life- 
lilce, the hand possessing nails, hair, etc., like an ordinary 
hand, and being apparently composed of cells and tia- 
sues, such as any material body would be composed of! 
How account for this I It is surely one of the most be- 
wildering and incredible facts in Nature. 

THE NBCESSART PACTO&S TO INSURE SUCCESS 

From the point-of-view of spiritualism and psychic 
development, many factors play a part. There is first 
of all the physical body of the medium, secondly hia vital 
magnetism, thirdly the magnetism of the sitters form- 
ing the circle, fourthly, magnetism from disembodied 
spirits, which mingle together and help to create the 
phantoms that appear at seances. The vital enei^ 
which seems to be drawn from the circle, and chiefly 
from the medium, during the stances, is utilized or 
manipulated by the disembodied spirits, who buUd up 
by its aid the materialized form we see before us. This 
is a very difficult and complicated process and not all 
spirits are competent to do this. For this purpose what 
are known as "spirit-chemists" are often employed, those 
who possess the knowledge of how to build up these 
forms. In the deepest stages of trance, when the medium 
is unconscious, the communication through materialized 
figures becomes clearer and clearer and the forms more 
dense and material. This is true of many psychic phe- 
nomena: the deeper the trance, the better the results ob- 
tained. 




I 

L 



MATERIALIZATION 



BTHEBIAIilZATION AND TRANSFIGURATION 

In the lighter stages of trance, however, only portions 
of the figure may develop, sach as bands, faces, etc., or 
very shadowy and vaguely defined outlines of human 
foftns. These latter are not, striotly ape akin g, ma- 
terialized but are known as " etherialized " forms. They 
are less solid than the materialized figures, and it is 
often possible to pass the hand and arm through one 
of these figures without disturbing it. In the case of 
the materialized figure, on the other hand, they are 
just as solid and tangible as any human form and it 
would be impossible to make any other solid object pass 
through any part of them. In many cases the physical 
body of the medium is more or less altered by the spirits 
without any other phantom being created. Such cases 
are known as "transfiguration." When the figure cre- 
ated at the seance is not dense and fuUy formed, it does 
not possess either a complete or matured intelligence. 
It is not "all there," so to speak, mentally or physically. 

HOW SOME FORMS ARE CREATED 

There is evidence to show that many of these forms 
are created by the will of the medium or by dlscarnate 
spirits, and that they are more truly thought-forms than 
materialized spirits. Again, many of these figures are 
"doubles" or "astral bodies" belonging to living peo- 
ple, who happen to appear at the seance, or projections 
from discarnate spirits. In such case, the intelligtnee 
manipulating the phantom is not that of a mature spirit 
but is a creation, so to speak, elaborated by the subcon- 
scious thoughts of the medium or by the mentality of the 
sitters, forming the circle. The psychic atmosphere 



344 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



created by the minds in the circle has, in other words, 
produced the mind of the phantom in the same way that 
the combined vital magnetism o£ the sitters has produced 
the material body of the apparition. 

HOW MATERIALIZATION' IS ACCOMPLISHED 

The process of materialization seems to be somewhat 
as follows: — The vital energy being drawn from the sit- 
ters into the body of the medium, the latter projects it 
outward into space, together with a large portion of his 
own vital energy, or it is drawn out by the operating 
intelligences. When in space, at a short distance from 
the medium's body, this vital energy is moulded, so to 
say, into the shape of the materialized form. It is built 
up or created by the operating intelligenees. Between 
this form and the medium's physical body there exists 
a subtle connection or "rapport" which has been de- 
scribed as a thread or bond of union, though it is not a 
physical connection of any kind or one that has ever been 
detected. Yet, that such a connection exists is proved 
by the phenomena of "repercussion," referred to in 
Chapter XXXVI, where it was shown that any injury 
done to the projected form reacted upon the body of 
the medium and left its mark upon it, just as though the 
physical form had suffered the injury. This is one of 
the most striking phenomena in the wliole realm of 
spiritualism, and a case of this character is thus vividly 
described by the Ven. Archdeacon Colley in bis address 
on "Spiritualism" before the Church Congress which 
met in October, 1905, and subsequently published by him 
in pamphlet form. He then said : — 



L 



b 



MATERIALIZATION 



"repekoussion" 

"He (the materialized phantom) seemed to be inter- 
ested in everything around him, walked up and down 
the room, taking up various articles to examine them, 
as would be natural to one of ancient race now in the 
midst of modem environment. Presently he espied and 
brought from the side-board a dish of baked apples and 
I got him to eat some. Our medium was at this time 
six or seven feet away from the spirit-form and had 
not chosen to take any of the fruit, asserting that he 
could taste the apple the Egyptian was eating. Won- 
dering how this could be I with my right hand gave our 
abnorn^ (I) friend another apple to eat, holding a bit 
of white paper in my left hand outstretched toward the 
medium, when from his lips fell the chewed skin and 
core of the apple eaten by the Mahedi ; here it is before 
me now after all these years in this screwed-up bit o£ 
paper for any scientist to analyse," 

In this instance the phenomena of repercussion was 
very interestingly demonstrated. The method of the 
materialization of the figure was thus described by Arch- 
deacon Colley in his lecture: — 

HOW THE FIGURES ABE FORMED 

"When, in expectation of a materialization, . . , there 
was seen steaming as from a kettle-spout through the 
testure and substance of the medium's black coat a little 
below the left breast toward the side, a vaporous Qla- 
ment which was almost invisible until within an inch 
or two of our friend's body. Then it grew in density to 
a cloudy something. There would then step forth tim- 
idly a figure — as did this little maiden. , . . She was 



346 



YOUK PSTCHIC POWERS 



naturally a companion for others of our freqnent psychift 
visitors. For 'as a cloud received one out of their sight' 
when the disciples at Bethany gazed on their ascending 
Lord, so, as from a cloud thus inexplicably evolved from 
the medium, came our materialized friends, and vanished 
again to invisibility in a cloud (sucked back within his 
own body) when they were withdrawn from us, wist- 
fully gazing on the mysterious departure and noting 
this or that particular phase of it within a few inches 
of the point of their inscrutable disappearance and evan- 
ishment. ' ' 



THE CLOTHES OP MATERIALIZED FIGUBBG 

The question is often asked: "How is it possible for 
spirits to become cl-otkedf — the old question of the 
"clothes of ghosts" being often raised among material- 
istic sceptics of the last century. The same question 
might be raised against the clothes of materialized fig- 
ures. But there is a ready answer to this which fully 
explains it. Those who deny and ridicule the possibility 
of materialization of raiment (as well as bodies) might 
ask themselves the question, "'Whenee came the clothing 
which Christ wore after his resurrection!" — for we are 
distinctly told that the Master's raiment had been parted 
among the Roman soldiery "and upon his cloak had they 
cast lots." This historical incident furnishes us with 
an illustration of the case in point, and the reality of 
this fact is amply borne out by many modern instances 
of a like character. 



HOW TO BEGIN TOUB DEVELOPMENT 

In sitting for materialization, the medium should sit 
inside the cabinet, which should not be too large, so aa 




MATERIALIZATION 



to concentrate and focus the energy obtained from the 
circle. The medium should sit on a cane bottomed chair, 
BufBciently comfortable to afford perfect relaxation when 
the trance supervenes. At first the medium should hold 
the hands of those in the circle, but after a time these 
may be released. The light should be almost totally ex- 
tinguished, for reasons given before in this book. 

It must be remembered that there are all kinds of 
light, visible and invisible. We also have infra-red rays 
and ultra-violet rays,— the former being below the lowest 
form of visible vibration, and the latter above the high- 
est. It is because red is so low in the scale of vibration 
that mediums employ it during the seance. Photo- 
graphs may be taken by infra-red and ultra-violet light. 

Light has a very disintegrating effect on these subtle 
forms and would doubtless serve to disintegrate many 
of the materialized forms upon their initial appear- 
ance. The medium should make his mind as blank as 
possible, holding only the central idea of self, and men- 
tally call upon his spirit friends to help in the produc- 
tion of phenomena. 



EAKLY SlflNB AND PHENOMENA 
Among the initial sensations which the medium will 
experience are, probably, flashes of heat and cold, black- 
ness before the eyes (in which possibly there may be 
specks of light dancing hither and thither) and a "cob- 
webby" sensation over the hands and face, which is al- 
most invariable and very noticeable. 

Madame D'Espcrance, a materializing medium of in- 
ternational fame, has stated that in her experience this 
cobwebby sensation was present on practically every 




TOUR PSYCHIC POWEES 



occasioD. Speaking of the phenomena and symptoms of 
the process, she says : — 

"If a few persons have gathered together in a half- 
darkened room, the emanations from their bodies can 
be seen by many — not necessarily clairvoyants. It ap- 
pears as a slightly luminous haze about the bead, shoul- 
ders and sometimes the knees and feet. Frequently it 
gathers slowly at the fingers, increasing in density till 
it resembles a slight transparent film of slightly luminous 
eotton-wool. This is often perceptible to the eyes of all, 
bat it offers no resistance to the touch. By some force 
of attraction, either inherent or exerted upon it by some 
outside agency, this mass appears to mingle and draw 
together, to become more dense and at this stage has 
been found to be decidedly perceptible to the touch. It 
resembles as nearly as can be described the gossamer web, 
seen on trees and bushes on an early summer morning." 



THE SENSATION OP ' ' COBWEBS, ' ' ANn WHAT IT UEAK8 
"Many persona in a materialization seance are sensi- 
ble o£ a feeling as of cobwebs being on their faces and 
hands. I have myself not only felt the sensation, but 
when brushing my face or hands have distinctly felt 
what seemed to be fine filaments of the gossamer which 
clung to my fingers. The attention of the sitters has 
been frequently drawn to this almost impalpable sub- 
stance which has vanished as soon as the light has been 
brought near it, . . . This emanation from the sitters in 
a seance is generally, if not always, accompanied by a 
sensation of chill or draft, similar to that felt by a per- 
son in a slightly feverish condition. , . . The head will 
be hot, there will be a heavy throbbing in the temples. 




MATERIALIZATION 



The hands, feet and other parts of the body will be cold 
to the touch. . . . The medium by the exercise of his 
will can at any time prevent mautfestations, — in fact 
the opposition of any lierson in a circle will act as a 
hindrance to the work of the unseen operators. ' ' 

WHY SOME FORMS RESHUBLE THE MEDIUM 

As a rule, when full materializations are accomplished 
the medium is entranced so deeply that he cannot re- 
member the process of the production of the forms. In 
the earlier stages of trance, the mind should be con- 
centrated on the creation of forms of this character, but 
after it has reached a certain stage, you may safely turn 
over the process to your spirit-friends. In some in- 
Btances, the medium's double becomes detached from the 
body and appears to those forming the circle as a ma- 
terialized figure, though it is not sueh in reality. If 
such a figure be photographed or closely examined, the 
Btriking resemblance to the medium is easily seen, though 
it is not the medium, who may be seen entranced witliin 
the cabinet. Lack of knowledge of thb fact has given 
rise to the false belief that in cases of this character 
the medium himself was consciously personating the 
spirit, but the true explanation is that the double has 
been liberated during the stance and has thus appeared 
to the sitters as an independent being. 

The phenomena of materialization, as before said, are 
amongst the most interesting in the whole realm of the 
super-normal, and will well repay careful study and 
prolonged experimentation on the part of the student. 






CHAPTER XLI 
ADVANCED STUDIES 

The subject-matter and advice contained in the preset 
chapter is advanced onJy for those who have carefully 
read through and practised the preceding chapters oE 
this book. Those who have not done so are strongly 
advised not to undertake some of the experiments herein 
described unless they have carefully carried out the 
instructions contained in the earlier chapters, and par- 
ticularly the warnings herein given. These advanced 
studies are suitable only for those students who have 
succeeded in attaining a certain mastery of the inner 
self, and who have developed a certain amount of psychic 
force or power which is under their own control. In a 
certain sense they may be considered more or less dan- 
gerous, but they are not so to one who has progressed 
sufficiently to be in a position to follow them. Progress 
is necessary in psychic development as in every other 
field of endeavour, and those who have gone thus far 
should try to advance their powers and faculties yet an- 
other step forward into that vast and mystic beyond 
which encircles us on every side — not only in the life to 
come but here and now. 

CULTIVATING THE "SIXTH SENSE" 

The first thing for the student to do is to cultivate as 

far as possible his "Sixth Sense," already mentioned 

briefly in Chapter SIX (devoted to the Cultivation of 




ADVANCED STUDIES 

Sensitiveness). TMs axth sense is a general feeling of 
"awareness" of surrounding powers and entities — a 
knowledge which is not dependent on any of the five 
senses. Some of the preliminary exercises for cultivat- 
ing this sense have already been given, and we shall 
now proceed to give a few more, leading the student yet 
further along the path to self-realization and power. 

He should first of all begin with deep breathing -exer- 
cises, accompanied by certain psychical processes and 
practices. The process of taking the "complete breath" 
has already been described in Chapter VI, and while the 
student is in the relaxed condition, previously men- 
tioned, he should concentrate his mind and carry out 
the following psychic formula: — 



PSYCHIC BBEATHINO EXERCISES 

Breathe rhythmically, until the rhythm is perfectly es- 
tablished, then, inhaling and exhaling, form the mental 
image of the breath being drawn up through the bones 
of the legs and then forced out through them; then 
through the bones of the arms; then the top of the 
skull; then through the stomach; then through the re- 
productive region; then as if it were travelling upward 
and downward along the spinal column, and then as if 
the breath were bemg inhaled and exhaled through 
every pore of the skin, — the whole body being filled with 
"prana" (vital energy or life),^and, breathing rhyth- 
mically, send the current or "prana" to the seven vital 
centres in turn, as follows, using the same mental pic- 
ture as in the previous exercises. 

First, to the very end of the spinal cord; second to 
the reproductive region ; next to the centre of the abdo- 
men ; next to the solar plexus ; then to the heart ; then to 



352 TOTJR PSYCHIC POWERS 

the throat; then to a spot between the eyes, low down 
on the forehead ; Anally, to a spot at the very top of the 
brain. Finish by sweeping the current of "prana" to 
and fro from head to foot several times. 



HOW TO AWAKEN THE "OHAKBAS" OB 7 VITAL CENTRES 
These seven vital centres in the body are known as 
"chakras" and have very great interest and importance 
in all higher psychic development and in all occult prac- 
tice. It is upon the awakening of these Seven Centres, 
in fact, that all the higher clairvoyance and psychical 
faculties depend. They are supposed to be the links of 
connection between the physical and the astral bodies, 
and if they are not awakened in precisely the right order, 
and in the right manner, grave difficulties may result; 
while, on the other hand, if they are awakened correctly, 
the student who has done so is instantly gifted with 
extraordinary clairvoyant and higher psychical faculties, 
— enabling him not only to see the past and the future, 
but also all those spiritual beings who are constantly 
around him, — the thoughts and emotions of others, pic- 
tures of their past lives, etc. In other words, much 
depends upon the awakening of these centres! In East- 
em Philosophy they are symbolized as "Lotus Flowers,'* 
and the highest and last in the brain is called "the 
Thousand and One Petalled Lotus." 



IMPOKTANCE OF AWAKENING IN THE EIGHT ORDER 

The Vital Energy which passes upward through these 
centres is symbolized as a Fiery Serpent which, in pass- 
ing upward, animates each in turn, and wakes them into 
activity, and it is highly important that this current of 



ADVANCED STUDIES 353 

energy should pass through each centre in the right 
order, as before said. The scDsation of warmth aud a 
faint pritliling as of "pina and needles" is felt at the 
moment of awakening each of these centres. In Sanscrit 
the word "Kundalini" (literally meaning "the 
coiled-up") is employed. This "serpent," when fully 
aroused and activated, leads not only to the awakening of 
the higher psychical faculties before mentioned, but also 
to others of a still more startling character. 

Swami Vivekananda in his "Lectures on Raja Toga" 
(p. 91), gives the following psychical exercises which 
should be practised in connection with this psychical un- 
foldment and development : — 

THE SACRED WORD "om" AND MEDITATION 
"Sit straight, and look at the tip of your nose. By 
controlling the two optic nerves one advances a long 
way towards the control of the arc of reaction, and so 
to the control of the will. . . . Imagine a lotus upon the 
top of the head, several inches up, and Virtue as its cen- 
tre, the stalk as knowledge. The eight petals of the 
lotus are the eight powers of the Yogi. Inside the sta- 
mens ,and pistils are renunciation. . . . Inside of the 
lotus think of the Golden One, the almighty, the In- 
tangible, HE whose name is ou, the Inespressible, sur- 
rounded'with effulgent light. Meditate on that. Think 
of a space in your heart, and in the midst of that space 
think that a flame is burning. Think of that flame in 
your own Soul, and inside that fiame in another space, 
effulgent, and that is the Soul of your Soul, — God. Med- 
itate on that in the heart. He, who has given up all 
attachment, all fear, and all anger, he who has taken 




YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

refuge in the Lord, whose heart has become purified, 
with whatsoever desire he comes to the Lord, he will 
grant that to him." 

INTERN AI, OB SPIRITUAL BESPIRATION 

Another valuable practice in connection with breath- 
ing is that which is known as "internal" or "spiritual 
respiration." The idea is based upon the belief that, in 
addition to our physical lungs, there are also spiritual 
lungs, and that just as the physical lungs receive energy 
and are purified by the air we breathe, — so also are the 
spiritual lungs energized and filled by the power of spirit, 
when accompanied by suitable p^ehical and mental 
processes. The power of the word "ou," so often re- 
peated in Eastern Philosophy, may be perceived faintly 
by any one pronouncing the word slowly, several times 
in succession, when it will be seen that it has a peculiar 
psychical effect upon the individual, and that it sets up 
remarkable rhythmic vibrations throughout the whole be- 
ing, which become more and more noticeable as the word 
is repeated. This is the most holy word of the Vedas 
or sacred books of the East, and its symbolic meaning 
is "The Supreme Being," "The Ocean of Knowledge" 
or "Bliss Absolute." 

SEEING WrrH ANT PABT OP TETE BODY 

One other valuable exercise which should be prac- 
tised is that of seeing, or endeavouring to see, with any 
part of the body, as though eyes were situated at any 
point upon which you concentrate your forces, and that 
you were actually looking outward from that point. 
This power has been cultivated to an extraordinary extent 
by some of the Eastern Adepts and is recorded as liap- 



ADVANCED STUDIES 



355 



peoing spoataneously now-and-then, even now, in the 
East. The power is cultivated by an effort of attention, 
coupled by will, and should be preceded by the practice 
of travelling around the body in thought, — mentioned 
before in this book, — and then holding yourself con- 
sciously on one particular point, in your circuit of the 
body, and concentrating yourself on that point. 

At this stage of your development, you may begin to 
practice an exercise which would be of great benefit, 
not only to yourself but to others also. After you have 
fallen alseep, — and the astral body is thereby loosened 
from the physical body, you should learn to make use 
of this astral body during the hours of sleep, and send 
it on jonmeya, to help those who may be in need of 
this help. You may, after a certain amount of effort, 
thus project the astral body, and cause it to retain full 
4elf-Gonsciou3nei«, When this has been acquired this 
projected body can assist those who have recently died, 
comforting and consoling them, and can carry mesa^es 
from such a person to those still living. It can assist 
those in danger, and help along humanity in a thousand 
different ways. When you have learned to project your 
astral body in this manner during sleep, you are known 
as one of the "Invisible Helpers" and many persons 
are said to make it a business to perform at least one 
good action every night, during sleep. 

THE DEVELOPMENT OP COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS 

Two remarkable psychical manifestations will result 
from these spiritual practices, if correctly and carefully 
performed. The first is the enlargement of the Self 
until it attains a vast area, so to speak, which has been 
called "Cosmic Consciousness," by those who have ex- 



356 YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 

perienced it. This consciousness is a step higher than 
human consciousness, — just as the human is a step higher 
than the animal, — and enables us to perceive truth and 
spiritual reality behind the universe, in addition to 
stimulating remarkable psychic powers. Such realities 
as the "fourth dimension," which are usually quite in- 
capable of bein^ appreciated by our finite senses, are 
said to be clear and intelligible to those who possess 
Cosmic Consciousness, and the connection between spirit 
and matter is also clear to them. 



POWER OVEB ANIMATE AND INAKIUATB HATTZB 
The second remarkable development from the awak- 
ening of these higher spiritual faculties will be the 
greater power you possess over animate and inanimate 
nature. You will find that you esert a peculiar influ- 
ence over all animals with whom you come into con- 
tact, and that they not only know and understand yon, 
but, if the animals are wild, they will not harm yon 
in any way. It is stated that many of the Yogis of 
India can walk uninjured through dense jungles filled 
with tigers and venomous snakes. These facts throw a 
new and interesting light upon the account of "Daniel 
in the den of lions." Doubtless all the Biblical narra- 
tives of this kind can be rationally accounted for, when 
we have acquired sufficient knowledge of psychic and 
spiritual science. Even the case of the three men who 
were cast into the fiery furnace and escaped uninjured ! 
Several mediums have done the same thing on a small 
scale. Sir William Crookes has reported that he has 
seen the medium D. D. Home extract red-hot coals from 
the fire and hold them in hif hands without injury. 
Similarly the magicians or witch-doctors of many of the 




ADVANCED STUDIES 357 

savage tribes can walk over glowing coals or red-hot 
emberH without being burned, — after they have nnder- 
goce certain religious rites and preparations. 

In addition to this, you will have increased power 
over inorganic matter, so that you can move objects 
without contact, with comparative ease, and cause phe- 
nomena! changes to take place in those objects. You 
will find that you have, in an almost perfect degree, the 
power of "self-projection," — that you can leave your 
body and enter the astral plane at will, exploring it and 
observing its denizens. 

CREATION BY THE POWER OP WIU. 

Finally you will be able actually to create by the 
power of your thought, forms and objects which are ex- 
ternal and apparently objective. In other words, you 
will have learned lo "create" by the power of the will, 
— and this is one of the greatest achievements gained by 
the advanced student of the occult. Phantoms, Appari- 
tions, Thought-Forms, etc., are created in this way. 

It is impossible at this time, to enter more deeply into 
these questions. Higher exercises of this kind, to be 
explained fully, as they should be, would require a fur- 
ther Course of study ; and it is my intention to fol- 
low the present work with a second one, — which will 
contain more detailed advice as to the development of 
the higher psychical and spiritual faculties. For the 
present, I must leave the psychic student here, at the 
end of his preparatory studies, — wishing him success in 
bis efforts, in the attainment of psychic power. If the 
student will but follow the directions contained in the 
present work carefully, and at the same time pay due 



358 



YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS 



attention to the advice contained therein, he will be 
enabled to develop his psychic powers to a very great 
extent, and will thereby be fitted to undertake still more 
advanced studies, which will be taken up very fully in 
a subsequent work. 



THE JSND 



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